In the recent past a number of global organisations have been victims of cyber hacking, with strong evidence pointing to one state being the perpetrator – China. Although the organisation which uncovered the attacks, McAfee, has not officially named any states, many other experts have suggested that the evidence points strongly towards the country.
The media is reporting more and more security related attacks with regards to internet security, the most talked about in recent weeks is the arrest of ‘Topiary’ in relation to the DDoS attacks in protest against the government and other organisations. This interest in the media shows that cyber crime is not only an important issue in today’s society, but also that there is significant political significance attached to it.
What affect these allegations could have on global political relations is difficult to assess. With international businesses creating a global community, cyber crime is a real threat and one which holds a large reputational and financial cost for its victims. Add into the mix that those attacked recently include not only global organisations, but also the governments of the United States, Taiwan, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Canada, then needless to say there is heightened political piquancy, if not potential for international hostility. Already commentators are talking of a ‘cyber cold war’.
I believe that the link to international hostility is somewhat hyperbolic at this stage. Although the question still remains whether it is the internet security companies and large businesses, or governmental regimes that should control usage and police crimes. This is something to work on as the world internet grows.