No matter what kind of role you believe they played, it's pretty well understood that Russia tried to influence America's 2016 presidential election. How they did that and to what extent they succeeded is up for debate, but that they had the goal is widely accepted.
Government agencies continue to warn that it was not a one-time deal, that it was part of a modern campaign conducted by the country to try and exert its influence all around the world. But that's not the only way Russia plans on using technology to attack other countries.
The more intelligence agencies around the world learn, the better understanding they have of Russia's plans. From what it sounds like, we better be ready.
Two countries, united
Every country has its own intelligence operations and, with those, feelings on what is going to happen, the United States and the United Kingdom have teamed up to provide a warning. The allies released a joint statement saying that Russia is preparing for a war against the West.
Not a traditional war, though. A cyberwar.
For most of us, the term "cyberwar" is one that invokes as much confusion as fear. After all, while we know what conventional war looks like, battles in the digital space are considerably less defined.
According to the joint warning, Russia is expected to pursue attacks against network infrastructure devices, including routers, switches and firewalls. If Russia's attacks are successful, the country could steal all sorts of data and at the same time continue having access to U.S. systems.
That would leave open the possibility of more attacks down the road.
Here's what's likely to happen
Essentially, Russia will try to do what is known as "spoofing." Here, spoofing would allow Russia to pretend they are the computer or device you feel like you are connected with, allowing them to get in between the two ends with an ability to spy on and manipulate the traffic.
Even if we know Russia is planning to attack and how they are going to do it, there is still the matter of defending ourselves from it all.
The good news is with awareness comes preparation. Government agencies understand the reality and gravity of the threat and are therefore taking steps to ensure its limited impact.
Part of that is relying on companies who produce devices like routers and switches to come up with safeguards that can be put into place. When they do, following their instructions will go a long way toward thwarting Russia's plans.
Our computers are consistently under attack
Software developers face a daunting challenge every day with the products they maintain. Not only does their software need to work well and accomplish what it advertises, it also needs to improve constantly and be secure against hacks. Read on and I'll tell you about the latest one that's plaguing this surprisingly still popular web browser.