The war in Ukraine, Metaverse and Splinternet were among the most discussed items during the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
The topic of cyber security was primarily about the role of cyberattacks in the Ukraine war. Cyber is not the focus of day-to-day public war reporting but is an integral part of warfare on both sides. This applies above all to the use of “social media.” Ukrainian president Wlodomir Selensky has introduced a new dimension, how to use the Internet to tell his story to the rest of the world in a real war. The Russians have blocked nearly all western media, including social websites, to distribute their own narrative. And there are many private videos that create a special “info-sphere” outside of government-controlled media reporting.
In the various panels, it was reported that next to the propaganda war, numerous cyberattacks are directly or indirectly linked to the military fighting: classic DDoS attacks (primarily on public institutions such as ministries and the media), attacks on critical infrastructure (satellite connections) and the use of autonomous weapon systems (drones). It is still too early to assess the effectiveness of so-called “cyber weapons.” However, it has become clear that cyber is not an isolated, independent area in a military conflict—something like a separated “cyberwar”—but it is integrated into military operations by land, sea and air forces. Jen Easterly, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security (CISA) of the US, made it clear that strengthening Ukraine’s cyber defenses is an indispensable component of military aid packages for the country under attack.
In the civil sector, it was primarily cybercrime. Cybercrime continues to grow rapidly. The best way to counteract it is to increase hardware and software security. Criminals lived from their weak points. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called for “zero tolerance” for such bugs when developing new digital products and services. “Security by design” is the order of the day. So-called “backdoors” to facilitate criminal prosecution in cyberspace were rejected. Backdoors are counterproductive and…