According to a survey on cyber war and offensive hacking that polled 517 IT security professionals attending the recent RSA Conference in San Francisco, 87% of respondents believe the world is currently in the middle of a cyber war.
The survey, the results of which were unveiled by Salt Lake City based machine identity protection, securing machine-to-machine connections and comms specialist Venafi, also found that 72% felt nation-states should have the right to “hack back” by targeting cyber criminals who level attacks on their infrastructure.
In addition, 58% of those polled believed private organisations have the right to “hack back.”
“It’s clear that security professionals feel under siege,” said Kevin Bocek, VP of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi. “With the increasing sophistication and frequency of cybe rattacks targeting businesses, everyone is involved in cyber war.”
Venafi said that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act prohibits many retaliatory cyber defence methods, including accessing an attackers computer without authorisation. The Active Cyber Defense Certainty (ACDC) Act addresses active cyber security defense methods and was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in October 2018.
It proposes “to provide a defense to prosecution for fraud and related activity in connection with computers for persons defending against unauthorized intrusions into their computers.”
“Today, private companies do not have a legal right to actively defend themselves against cyber attacks, ‘ Boeck added. “Even if this type of action were to become legal, most organisations are too optimistic about their abilities to target the correct intruder. Even with the most sophisticated security technology, it’s nearly impossible to be certain about attack attribution because attackers are adept at using a wide range of technologies to mislead security professionals. For many organizations, it would be better to focus on establishing stronger defense mechanisms.”
“We’ve seen excellent growth in cloud, DevOps and machine identity technologies that allow digital business services to be restarted in the event of a breach, effectively delivering a knockout blow against attackers,” said Bocek.