A top Interpol official has warned that the digital tools used by the military to conduct cyber warfare could eventually fall into the hands of cybercriminals.
Jurgen Stock, secretary general of the International Police Organization, said he was concerned that the state-of-the-art cyber weapon would be available in Darknet – a hidden part of the Internet that cannot be accessed by search engines like Google – “in a few years.”
“This is a major concern in the physical world – weapons used on the battlefield and the use of organized crime groups tomorrow,” Stock told a CNBC-led panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Monday.
“The same goes for digital weapons, which may be used by the military today, developed by the military, and will be available to criminals tomorrow,” he added.
Cyber weapons come in a variety of forms, including ransomware – where hackers lock down a company’s computer system and demand ransom to regain control – this is a key issue. The issue of cyber warfare has long been a concern for world governments, but it has received renewed attention in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Moscow has been blamed for numerous cyberattacks before and during its military invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin has always denied such allegations. Meanwhile, Ukraine has enlisted the help of volunteer hackers around the world to defend against Russian aggression.
Stock called on business leaders to increase cooperation with government and law enforcement authorities to ensure more effective policing of cybercrime.
“On the one hand, we are aware of what is happening – on the other hand, we need data, which is in the private sector,” he said.
“We need you [cyber breach] We are blind without your report. “
A “huge number” of cyber attacks were not reported, Stock said. “It’s a gap that we need to close together, not just the law enforcement that we need to build bridges between our silos, the islands of information.”
The number of global cyber attacks will more than double in 2021, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook report. Ransomware remains the most popular type of attack, with organizations reportedly being targeted an average of 270 times a year.
Cyber security incidents have put critical energy infrastructure and the supply chain at risk, panel executives and government officials said.
Robert Lee, CEO and co-founder of the cybersecurity firm Dragos, called on businesses to focus on real-world situations – such as the Russian state-backed attack on Ukraine’s power grid in 2015 – rather than a more speculative risk. Ukraine stopped similar efforts to compromise its energy infrastructure in April this year.
“Our problem is we don’t need ‘next-gen’ AI, blockchain or anything else,” Lee said. “Our problems are usually rolled out with things we’ve already invested in.”