PA’s Mark Stollery, cyber security expert, is quoted in an article on large-scale cyber espionage and how the methods behind it are becoming more complex and sophisticated.
Mark explains that one of the problems – and benefits – of state-sponsored attacks is that they are deniable, “at least to the extent that it’s unlikely to start a fighting war.”
He goes on to say: “If there’s a cyber attach and you are pretty sure it is country X but you can’t prove it, it keeps the hard warfare tensions down.”
Mark explains that there are many allegations regarding the perpetrator behind Stuxnet. “Iran may feel certain that it knows who was behind it. If the attack had been done by war planes or special forces, it would ratchet up the international tensions so much more.”
Mark goes on to say that if someone attacks you, you feel you out to be retaliating. He explains: “That’s what you expect, but you don’t want a slippery slope that leads to war. That gives you the diplomatic doubt. It’s far easier to fire some malware shells at your neighbour. They probably know it’s you, but they don’t feel obliged to retaliate.”