Information warfare rages

Alex Kayle
By Alex Kayle, Senior portals journalist
Johannesburg, 06 May 2009

The information security landscape is rapidly changing and what was a security solution yesterday may not be valid today, as yesterday's threat could have transformed into a full-blown attack.

ITWeb Security Summit 2009

More information about the ITWeb Security Summit 2009 conference, which takes place from 26 to 28 May 2009 at Vodaworld is available online here.

This is according to Beza Belayneh, executive director for the Centre for Information Security, who will speak on information warfare and developing an information warfare risk analysis model during the upcoming ITWeb Security Summit, being held at Vodaworld, Midrand.

Belayneh believes the world is experiencing a cyber war: “The battle for information dominance is raging. Hackers attempt to break secured networks every 36 seconds. Some 250 new viruses are created every month. Over a trillion rand is lost as a result of various attacks and breaches that amount to be called information warfare.

“Today the world where the name of the game is deception is a world that businesses and managers ignore at their peril,” he adds.

Emerging threat

According to Belayneh, information warfare stems from malicious actions with intentions to exploit, corrupt, deny, or destroy information in order to achieve a significant advantage, objective, or victory over a competitor.

He adds: “Information warfare has become a serious issue in the corporate world and is regarded as an emerging threat by numerous authorities in the information security field, including the Georgia Tech Information Security Centre.”

Georgia Tech declared information warfare (cyber warfare) one of the emerging threats for 2009 in its annual Emerging Cyber Threats Report.

Cyber crime booms

Last month, the notorious Conficker worm managed to gain access to hundreds of medical devices and MRI machines at dozens of hospitals in the US and other countries.

In addition, a study from Verizon Business reports that organised crime is responsible for an increase in the number of breached corporate electronic records, which Verizon says totalled about 285 million last year. Some 93% of all records breached came from the financial sector.

“The use and abuse of information will be a critical factor in most organisations' performance today and in the coming years. Information is not only a target but also a weapon,” says Belayneh.

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