Well you’ve probably caught wind about some spying, backdoors, web activity surveillance and even outright malicious hacking attacks to steal data, trade secrets and even to manipulate election results (the alleged Russian government-funded hacking), but while all of that may or may not be happening, there’s definitely lots of secret cyber wars taking place in plain sight. There’s a lot of cyber warfare going on which the average internet user isn’t even aware of, but what’s even scarier is that your internet connected device may be part of the infrastructure used in the ongoing cyber warfare.
The secret cyber warfare which is going on around the clock ranges from what would easily be referred to as petty score settlements between small-time hackers all the way up to sophisticated, well-organised and well-resourced hacking collectives which are either operating as hacktivists or malicious hackers. Hacktivists effectively hack to prove a point or to send a message to organisations and even individuals which they deem to be operating against the greater good of society, such as the now notorious Anonymous group which is at odds with the manner in which certain governments operate and are against the privacy principles of some big and powerful companies.
Malicious hackers on the other hand could be in it just to prove a point as well (flexing their muscles and showing off their hacking prowess) or they could be in it for nefarious intentions such as stealing money or funding their illicit activities.
A virus called Stuxnet comes to mind as a great example of an extreme case of this secret cyber warfare going on, this time highlighting one such war between a government’s infrastructure coming under attack and malicious hackers whose mandate and backing could point to many rather “interesting” sources.
Stuxnet was some malicious code destined for the nuclear reactors in an Iranian nuclear plant, set to mess around with the operation of some of its components no doubt to create some serious damage, but what you might be surprised to learn is that your very own device may have been part of proceedings. The virus lay dormant, spreading from device to device in search of its final destination of the nuclear reactors where it was to wreak the intended havoc, something which highlights the involvement of many different parties in what was meant to be a showdown (or an attack) between one perpetrator and their targeted victim.