Cyber espionage, also known as cyber warfare, cyber sabotage, or computer crime, is any action that attempts to sabotage, influence, or even obtain information not intended to be used for a strategic or tactical purpose. The internet has made this process easier and cheaper than ever before, allowing many crimes to be perpetrated without leaving physical tracks or signatures on any paper or computer file. Find advice on Cyber Liability Insurance at JMP Cyber Insurance
The most common tools used by attackers are malware, viruses, and other digital payloads attached to emails, files, videos, or gaming systems. Attackers may use zero-day exploits (a previously unknown vulnerability) to gain access to a company’s system and gain access to valuable data or intellectual property such as confidential corporate information or trade secrets. Some attackers may use exploits to find holes in an organisation’s firewall and allow users to connect to the infected host through an unsecured network. Other attackers may rely on “dummy” software to install or execute attacks without actual access to the target system.
As scary as it might seem, there is no grey area when it comes to cyber espionage and cyber warfare. Whether it involves stealing trade secrets, using a zero-day exploit for sabotage, or gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer system, the potential damage is truly devastating. One might argue that since the attacks take place over the internet, an attack can technically be performed anywhere in the world.