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We Are Losing the Cyberwar to Enemy Hackers

We Are Losing the Cyberwar to Enemy Hackers
By Todd Strandberg

I’ve always thought it was a bad idea for America to have an open internet with enemy nations like China, Russia, and North Korea. They contribute hardly anything to the net, and they use their access to steal from us. I can’t recall the last time I visited a website that was in one of these countries.

We spend a quarter of a trillion dollars in developing a new fighter jet. A few years later, the Russians and Chinese have one that looks similar to ours. They are able to copy our jets by hacking into the computer files of our military contractors. Since we store so much of our data online, it has become much easier for spies to steal our intellectual property.

SolarWinds is a major US information technology firm, and it was the subject of a cyberattack last year that compromised much of its clients’ data. Foreign hackers, who some top U.S. officials believe are from Russia, were able to use the hack to spy on private companies like the elite cybersecurity firm FireEye and the upper echelons of the U.S. Government, including the Department of Homeland Security and Treasury Department.

Most software providers regularly send out updates to their systems, whether it’s fixing a bug or adding new features. SolarWinds is no exception. Beginning as early as March of 2020, SolarWinds unwittingly sent out software updates to its customers that included the hacked code.

The code created a backdoor to customers’ information technology systems, which hackers then used to install even more malware that helped them spy on companies and organizations.

We are still trying to figure out how much damage was inflicted by the SolarWinds breach. By having access to one computer system, hackers can gain logon information for other programs.

We just saw the most dangerous hacking attack on a U.S. firm. The hacking of Colonial Pipeline by Russians has shut down the biggest U.S. gasoline pipeline in the nation. On May 7, the hackers began their blitz against the company, stealing a large amount of data before locking computers with ransomware and demanding payment, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that threatens to publish or block access to data or a computer system, usually by encrypting it, until the victim pays a ransom fee to the attacker.

Bloomberg reports that the intruders are part of a cybercrime gang called Darkside. They took nearly 100 gigabytes of data out of the Alpharetta, Georgia-based company’s network in just two hours, two people involved in Colonial’s investigation said.

Darkside claims to only be interested in money, but it is very likely that they have some connection to the Russian government. Since the attack has crippled a fuel supply line that provides 45% of the Northeast’s gasoline needs, it is very likely that Putin has some connection to the incident. You don’t hear about Russian firms being the victim of Ransomware.

As a Christian website that is interested in sharing the gospel message with the whole world, you probably think I would be opposed to blocking any nation. I’m all for blocking them because there is little chance of citizens in these nations accessing a site like R.R. North Korea has no access to private citizens. China and Russia have access, but key Western sites are heavily censored.

The “Great Firewall” is a colloquial term for mainland China’s internet censorship system. It’s part of the Golden Shield project, also called the National Public Security Work Informational Project. The person staying at a hotel in Beijing may have no trouble accessing American sites. The average Chinese citizen is increasingly only able to access sites that the government wants people to see.

If we blocked these nations from accessing the web ten years ago for bad behavior, they’d have long cried uncle by now. They know access to the western world is essential to their economic growth. Instead of policing the internet for the common good of all, we have turned control over to third-world nations.

We are losing the war against cybercriminals because we are in the run-up to the tribulation hour. Mankind will only increasingly become more wicked with each passing day.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

— Todd

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