F-Secure has warned that the world is now on the brink of another technological revolution revolving around cyber warfare.
The security firm’s chief security researcher, Mikko Hypponen, said in an interview with The INQUIRER that, not before long, countries worldwide will try to outflank one another using advanced computer skills and technologies to gauge a nation’s prowess.
Hypponen added that impending conflicts between technologically advanced countries will most likely harness cyber applications.
The interview focused on his reaction towards last week’s news of China and the US engaging in cyber war games.
“I wasn’t expecting [war games] so soon,” Hypponen said. “I’m surprised and I think it is a good move because everybody is worried about escalation. The way to fight unnecessary escalations is that you know more about how the perceived enemy would act if there would be an escalation. War games are exactly that.”
He pointed out that there’s more to learn and discuss from such exercises, saying, “We’ve seen a revolution in defense technology and in technology generally over the past 60 to 70 years and I believe we are right now seeing the beginning of the next revolution: a cyber warfare revolution, which is going to as big as the revolutions we’ve seen so far in technology becoming part of defense, and part of wars.”
The security researcher delivered a forecast that an upcoming competition between nations with the most advanced cyber elements draws near, which include cyber war simulations to prove and measure how substantial each country’s arsenal is and show off cyber skills to catch everyone’s attention.
“Like nuclear in the sixties, cyber attacks are a deterrent and deterrents only work if your perceived enemies know that you have it,” he said.
The questions led to what Hypponen thought of an impending cyber cold war, to which he replied, “something like that” and added, “What we should be doing is cyber arm negotiations, rules for using cyber arms, and so on.”
“I think what we are seeing here with cyber war games between the US and China is the first steps into that…they are a good thing.”
Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum published a report that rated cyber attacks as the fourth most probable risk to happen during the course of the next decade. This is the first time in five years that the annual study composed of 50 risks in 5 different categories and included 469 experts as respondents ranked technological threat.