NATO seeks Cyber Alliance with India

With the flood of international system breaches, NATO may turn to India for assistance.  And the move just makes sense. Though not spelling it out clearly, one of the main threats they have in common is China.

Reports from security research group Information Warfare Monitor (IWM) for the last couple years have claimed that a Chinese hacker entity called “GhostNet” has attacked and compromised NATO systems along with several other countries. In 2010, the research group focused on intrusions into India’s government and defense systems:

“Their 2010 report claimed that major Indian defence establishments, including the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, National Security Council Secretariat, National Maritime Foundation, and armed forces units were targeted and secret presentations on weapons systems stolen by Chinese hackers.

India is a good choice for a cyber alliance. India has been a strong technology partner with the US, and we face many of the same threats. They have been a more consistent ally in the region – compared to China and our sometimes partner in the war on terror, Pakistan.

The problem is though that Chinese state backed hackers are not the only threat we are facing. The Russian Business Network and other foreign government backed entities seem to be falling from the radar as Chinese hackers threats take center stage. And lets not forget the lone hakers or political hacktivist groups that are very active.

Individual entities will be much harder to defend against as they are more random and may even be attacking the country that they live in.

Sure, many of the attacks by groups like Anonymous are more of an irritation than a national threat (they have downed NATO and even CIA websites).

But what about individuals like the “Comodohacker” who recently stole over 500 digital certificates from Dutch company DigiNotar? (Apparently including SSL certificates for the CIA, Mossad and MI6). He claims to be a lone Iranian hacker, and the certificates that were compromised were from companies around the world. It would seem though that fellow Iranians may also  be a target, as on Friday, Google notified Iranian G-Mail users that their usernames and passwords may have been compromised by Comodohacker.

Countries working together to stop cyber attacks is a great thing and needs to be done, but the complexity and inherent anonymity of the web creates some major hurdles that need to be overcome.


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