European Superpower Believes Hacking Back Could Deter Cyber Crime
The German authorities are debating innovative ways of fighting cyber crime following a severe data breach across the country last week.
As German politicians including Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had their data stolen and made public, the government are considering drastic approaches to avoid future breaches.
The hacker, suspected to be a 20-year-old man, stole sensitive information from many prominent people including high profile celebrities and politicians. Via a Twitter account, information including banking details, credit card information, home addresses and even ID cards and private family chats were exposed and made public.
Because of the extent of the intrusion of privacy, the government are now debating whether they should take an eye-for-an-eye approach to cyber security by using their intelligence services to hack back on the criminals that steal information.
If the debate proceeds into law, federal agencies will have the power to disrupt the hacker’s server and demolish the infrastructure which enables them to break the law.
The governmental spokesperson has stated that the cyber criminal in question is young, and until last week, unknown to the authorities for breaking the law or completing hacks in the past. Although he has no formal IT training, he was intelligent and adept at exploiting security vulnerabilities and weaknesses, of which there were many.
The government have revealed that the hacker found a myriad of security vulnerabilities across a range of federal agencies. Additionally, based on the information gathered, he was able to exploit individual accounts.
Following interrogation, the hacker has highlighted that his motive revolved around feelings of anger and annoyance concerning recent statements and comments made by the country’s politicians.
It is hoped that the severity of this attack is a wake-up call for European leaders as to the damage a truly sophisticated attack could cause.
Subsequently, German authorities have faced a backlash of criticism for adopting such a laissez-faire approach to cyber security. Despite being notified of a breach earlier in the month, it was waved off as a one off; ultimately, this has cost them dearly.
If a European super power is vulnerable to attack, then law firms are clearly susceptible to data breaches. Ensuring that your firm is able to demonstrate a desire to adopt clear and effective cyber security protocol will be imperative in the future.