Cyber Attacks Must Be Characterized as a Criminal Offense


Humanity has entered into an era of cyberwarfare. The word “cyber” only 60 years old and it corresponds to the name of Norbert Wiener. It involves new technologies and their progress. The word “war” is already known to mankind for thousands of years. A consistent definition of war has given Carl von Clausewitz in his book “On War” a sound perspective.

According to von Clausewitz, “War is an instrument of policy; it must inevitably have a political nature. Therefore, the conduct of wars in its main outlines is the very policies that replaced the stylus on the sword.” He writes – “War is an act of violence intended to compel the enemy to fulfill our will.

To crush the enemy, we must match our efforts with the strength of his resistance; the latter represents the result of two non-factors: the amount of funds the enemy holds and the force of his will.

“War – as an act of violence, is understandable to all. The question is, can “cyberspace attacks” be called “violence”?

It turns out, they can, very simply and seriously. Violation of the normal functioning of government mechanisms is violence.

In modern times, where many of the processes are managed by computers, cyberspace is quite vulnerable.

Creation of a suffering civilian population, and full-scale chaos in the economy, in the hypothetical event of network failure, is possible. And it is a great violence. According to the portal, there are more than 55 million hacking attempts around the world, by computer hackers, both successful and unsuccessful. The largest number of computer criminals is now based in Asia.

In 2005, the estimate of consulting firm Computer Economics, said damage from hackers cost $14 billion, and that number is growing every year. According to the company, 65% of firms and organizations of the United States will not teach their employees the basics of computer security, and 67% do not check what programs are stored on their computers.

Absolute Software, a company that tracks corporate PCs, found that only 1% of companies consider corporate safety when employees work with a computer. IBM Corp. calculated that in the first 6 months of 2007, there were almost 3.3 thousand of vulnerabilities in popular computer programs. Almost 52% of these flaws allow an attacker to obtain remote access to computers on which these programs were installed.

Also in 2007, 10% of Internet sites contained ambiguous information (eg, incitement to violence, etc.), While 50% of the World Wide Web sites contain material that could infect the computers of visitors of these sites, or to disguise an attack by hackers, spammers, etc. The group of experts on computer security at Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Emergency Response Team (commonly known by the abbreviation CERT) has calculated that a new problem in computer security is found every 82 minutes.

The American NGO Privacy Clearing House acts as a watchdog in the United States of data stolen by hackers or lost personal data of individuals in the databases of various entities. It is estimated that from January 2005 to January 2008, the personal data of 218.6 million Americans was lost or stolen. The possession of this information may allow the use other people’s bank accounts, obtain loans, etc.

On average, one such problem is recorded daily. Cyber security is a national security priority for the US government. Media reports say President Barack Obama pledged to make securing the nation’s most vital computer networks a top economic and national security priority, broadly detailing the results of a 60-day cyber security review that calls for a range of responses to help improve the security of information networks that power the government and the US economy. “Protecting this infrastructure will be a national security priority. We will ensure that these networks are secure, trustworthy and resilient.” Obama said. “We will deter, prevent, detect, and defend against attacks and recover quickly from any disruptions or damage.”

As expected, Obama said he plans to create a new office at the White House to be led by a cyber security coordinator “responsible for orchestrating and integrating all cyber security policies for the government; working closely with the Office of Management and Budget to ensure agency budgets reflect those priorities; and, in the event of a major cyber incident or attack, coordinating our response.”

President Obama is right. He is one of the few contemporary politicians, who clearly see the problems facing society. However, Cyber security should be a priority not only in relation to government agencies but also with regard to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tom Patterson, author of “Mapping Security, noted “Were this only a cybercrime issue, this new shift toward attacking America’s heartland companies would be bad enough. But it’s not, its worse. With our economy in recession, and our national security now inseparably linked to our economic well being, key targets now include our business supply chains, critical infrastructure, and the labs and universities which feed American ingenuity and secure our prosperity.”

These measures may ensure cyber security for public bodies and businesses, but what about individuals? We are the most vulnerable we have ever been. We all know the Internet is a large and impersonal space, open to libelous defamation. Individuals cannot easily be protected from such libel.

I think it is necessary to adopt a universal law on cyber crimes and deal with them. A cyber attack, on the State, organization or individual should be classified as a crime. Cyber crime must be condemned, and perhaps it will be necessary to impose UN sanctions against the state – the infringer, and take steps by the world community to eliminate these violent acts.