THEME & focus
January 2021
Cyber espionage

Cyber espionage is the act or practice of collecting secrets and information without the permission and knowledge of the holder of information for personal, economic, political, or military advantage from individuals, competitors, rivals, groups, governments, and enemies using methods on the Internet, networks or individual computers through the use of proxy servers.

Cracking It may be perpetrated entirely remotely from computer desks of professionals located in distant countries or may include infiltration at home by traditional computer-trained spies and moles or maybe the criminal handiwork of novice malicious hackers software programmers in other instances.

Cyber espionage includes the use of information and communication technology (ICT) for any economic advantage or personal gain by individuals, organizations, or companies. Cyber Espionage can also include government actors, government-sponsored or government-led organizations, or those working on behalf of a government to obtain unauthorized access to gather information on targets to boost the national security, competitiveness, and military power their own countries. Cyber-espionage is also possible.

Although espionage is not a new phenomenon, ICT has made it possible for other countries to collect and orchestrate illicit intelligence at unparalleled speed, frequency, strength, and scope and reduce espionage risks.

Tools used in cyber espionage
They attributed several cyberespionage campaigns to advanced persistent menaces (or APTs) that refer to 'groups that are capable and intended to threaten a particular organization persistently and effectively.' However, APTs have also been active in the destruction of networks and data and disruption of operations and do not restrict their activities to cyberespionage. There have been known critical techniques used by cyberespionage perpetrators.

This includes malware, social engineering, spear-phishing, and flood watering. For example, a piece of malware, known as Flame, targeted government computer systems that collect information from the targets, such as remote turn-off on infected systems' webcams and microphones; screenshots of infected systems display; and Bluetooth-built data and orders. Another form of malware close to Flame, Gauss, targeted a similar government.

Social engineering is another instrument primarily used in cyber-espionage, and an agent tricks the target into divulging or other action. Spear phishing involves sending out emails with compromised attachments or links that replicate a receiver's click on links to extensions. It is used in many cyber-espionage incidents. The perpetrators of the alleged state-led cyber-spy operation Night Dragon have used a mixture of social engineering and malware in order to obtain unlicensed access to and knowledge about global energy corporations' networks in multiple countries.

Another technique used for illegal disclosure to the target is a watering hole assault, which is "an attack whereby a cybercriminal monitors and determines the websites most frequented by members of a particular organization or group and infects those sites with malware in an attempt to gain access to its networks'. '

For example, changes to the Forbes website's Thought of the Day widget, a US financial news magazine and news magazine, made possible an attack by a watering hole aimed at popular site users, particularly finance and defense people.

The various hacking tools readily available online have made cyber espionage possible. This involves exploits (for example, zero-day vulnerabilities that were previously exploited when identified) or those that can infiltrate networks and circumvent the firewalls) and implants (e.g., backdoor, a secret portal used to gain unauthorized access to systems, or a remote access tool or RAT).

A community called Shadow Brokers released hacking instruments in 2016. One of these includes a vulnerability to the Windows that was part of the WannaCry ransomware that attacked and harmed healthcare, transport, and other systems worldwide.
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From the TV series "The Spy"
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen
From the movie "Red Sparrow"
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence
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