We have witnessed the relentless ease with which data is being compromised, stolen, held to ransom, we are also trying to legislate digital theft, not from the dirty, baseless criminals stealing it but from the companies that allow it to happen. A long read in The Guardian titled Ransomware hunters: the self-taught tech geniuses fighting cybercrime discusses how ransomware is an efficient crime with little accountability. Even if you pinpoint and arrest the criminal, the damage is far-reaching and ubiquitous and can be traumatising to those that have had their identity stolen.
What is lost in this self-talk however is that digital fraud is a sophisticated and relentless threat. Telstra’s chair, John Mullen, came out recently to admonish the Federal government ministers for undermining Optus’ claim that the cyberattack they recently endured was sophisticated.
But privacy and, the information collected about us before we even get to talk of a data breach, is used in so many ways and is a somewhat empty promise that companies make in order to get us to sign our data away.
Uber appeared first in 2009 and it was introduced as a ride sharing service accessed through mobile phones, which was a world first. Founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had idealistic goals that would put the world into motion, no matter the cost. That cowboy ethic would have a devastating effect on traditional taxi services globally. The Uber Files have revealed the co-founders used a secret software program, Heaven, to illegally monitor movements of celebrities, politicians and employees. They also did nothing to protect their drivers from violent protests involving taxi drivers.
Russia has been a key player in cyberattacks over the last two decades with hacking collectives making waves through ransomware, spyware and data theft. According to Forbes earlier this month, 60% of cyberattacks were linked to state actors affiliated with Russia. If Russia wants to fight using cybertechnology they certainly have the means, workforce and intelligence.