The number one of Kaspersky Lab, a leading company in the field of computer security, has recently declared his total dismay about how little is being done to defend against the numerous and dangerous computer threats that have put and can put entire systems, banks, hospitals and of any nature on their knees. The Russian company has now become an established reality and a reference point for its sector, however, it seems that the issue in question is still very much underestimated, so much so that Eugene Kasprersky launches the proposal of a treaty to defend banks and infrastructures.
“It’s amazing that we underestimate what’s happening,” he began. “Banks, hospitals, power plants. We are connecting the entire world to the Web by putting it at risk. We have international agreements that regulate trade, conventions that prohibit the use of certain weapons, yet on cybersecurity there is no treaty. In 2017, it seems to me that’s just crazy.”
Filmmaker Oliver Stone just proposed a digital weapons convention. “I proposed it ten years ago. In fact, even earlier: in 2003. They didn’t listen to me.”
In 2003, the world was not under constant threat. “Exactly, that’s why I have some extra hope. On the one hand, there is cybercrime, which is increasingly widespread and requires collaboration between the police forces of different countries. From that point of view, progress has been made. On the other hand, there is the cyber war fought by the States and for which a framework agreement is needed to outlaw the use of certain tools and, above all, to protect civilian targets such as hospitals. Governments, however, have so far refused to open negotiations to limit both sabotage and espionage”.
And how do you think you can get there? “The United Nations should take the lead and put a draft international cyber weapons treaty on the table. Outlaw the most dangerous ones the way chemical weapons have been outlawed.”
Difficult goal to reach looking at today’s international political situation. “It’s true. But it’s also true that the damage from attacks is growing. By now you can sabotage a dam or knock out a power plant. You can bring a city to its knees. At some point it will be better for everyone to sign an agreement instead of continuing to fight without rules.”
It’s not just governments that are at war with each other. To know how many connected TVs a certain company has sold, it’s cheaper and more accurate to conduct a large-scale cyber attack than to commission a market survey. “Yeah. Unfortunately, it’s not easy and there are many more connected objects than we think. Hotel locks, fire suppression systems, cars, trains…. And viruses are evolving. Every day we find 300,000 new malware on the Web. Every single day.”
So what? “Technically it would be possible for a government or international entity to monitor all connected objects and remotely update them to protect them from threats. Too bad it’s an illegal practice.”