The first shots fired in the next war will almost certainly be digital. More and more often, we're hearing about foreign hackers attacking our industry and government.
In an unprecedented three-year-long assault on top U.S. leaders, Iranian hackers created fake Facebook pages to win the trust of their victims. Reuters reports:
ISight Partners, which uncovered the operation, said the targets include a four-star U.S. Navy admiral, U.S. lawmakers and ambassadors, and personnel from Afghanistan, Britain, Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
The firm declined to identify victims and said it could not say what data had been stolen by the hackers, who were seeking credentials to access government and corporate networks, as well as intelligence on weapons systems and diplomatic negotiations. "If it's been going on for so long, clearly they have had success," ISight Executive Vice President Tiffany Jones told Reuters. The privately held company is based in Dallas, Texas, and provides intelligence on cyber threats.
This isn't the first time foreign nationals have attacked U.S. interests over the Internet. Earlier this month, we learned that hackers have already successfully attacked our utility grid. American authorities have begun taking more direct action against foreign hackers - including bringing charges against five Chinese military cyber-spies. But it's not clear how much effect this type of diplomacy will have on the problem.