Good and bad news on the cyber war front

April 24, 2018 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , OTHER , Russia , Technology , UK

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Tom Arms



Let’s start with the good news. The West is winning the war with ISIS for control of the internet, according to Jeremy Fleming, head of Britain’s electronic spy agency GCHQ Cheltenham.


Now the bad news, Russia is plotting a major cyber-attack on Britain in retaliation for Syria, according to the FBI and, again, GCHQ Cheltenham.


Mr Fleming credits the success against ISIS to hard graft by Britain’s cyber warriors. They have taken the lead in identifying sites, main frames, email addresses and social media accounts. Once identified they are hacked into and disabled. The result is that there has been a significant drop in the Jihadist recruiting propaganda in cyberspace.


The bad news, however, is more disturbing. The Russians threatened retaliation if the West went ahead with attacks on Syria. The threats failed. The attacks went ahead and Moscow has been eerily silent in response.


The FBI and GCHQ claims this is because Putin is planning to launch a major cyber-attack aimed at knocking out infrastructure communications systems involving, energy, transport, water supplies, the military and emergency services. All the evidence points to Moscow working hard to plant software in connecting routers between different services.


The next set of good news is that the threat is unlikely to be immediate. The West is working hard to counter any Russian attacks.


Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre, said: ‘They are around trying to seize control over connectivity so, in the case of targeting providers of internet services, it is about gaining access to their customers to try to gain control over the devices to allow them not just to spy on the primary organisation but the organisations they connect to.’





Tom Arms

I am a journalist, entrepreneur and historian with extensive experience in print, web and broadcast journalism. I started as a diplomatic correspondent, wrote several books (The Falklands Crisis, World Elections On File and the Encyclopedia of the Cold War), and then in 1987 started my own business (Future Events News Service, which over 25 years established itself as the world and UK media’s diary. Our strapline was: “We set the world’s news agenda.” I sold FENS in December 2012 but retained the exclusive broadcast rights to all of FENS data. To exploit these rights I set up LookAhead TV which produces unique programmes which “Broadcasts Tomorrow Today” so that viewers can “Plan to Participate.” LookAhead has appeared regularly on Vox Africa, Radio Tatras International, The Conversation and Voice of Africa Radio.

In addition to being a syndicated broadcaster and columnist on global affairs, Tom is also available for speaking engagements and can be contacted on TwitterLinkedin and email[email protected].

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