Cyber warfare worse than Military warefare
At the opening of the Information Security and Public Key Infrastructure Conference speakers including COMESA Secretary General, Cisco Cyber Security Manager and the Cabinet Secretary of ICT Ministry Kenya have mentioned how Cyber Attacks and Cyber Crimes in general are to be feared more than threats of military attacks.
Dr. Fred Mitiangi said that strength of nation’s will no longer be judged on the basis of military armament and military technology but on the capacity to deal with cyber attacks. Presentation by Cisco demonstrated how cyber attack can lead to a series of terrorism attacks. Other than Cisco’s demonstrated example that is explained in the subsequent paragraph, bad guys can attack oil companies, nuclear plants, and related hazardous plants to cause explosions.
The Cisco demonstration show cased how an attack at Associated Press’ Twitter account and subsequent posting of false breaking news on attack at White House claiming injury of President Barrack Obama led to major but temporal deepening of sales in major stores in the US. The deepening caused by posting of false news means the bad guys can plan to take advantage of deepened prices of stock, buy the stock out and once the sales pick up they resell at high prices making millions of profits in hours.
To organize a terrorist attack similar to the Westgate attack needs about $100,000. With millions of dollars in profits made within hours, the terrorists who hacked into mainstream media social media accounts could organize 10 such attacks simultaneously.
These realizations are what has made the COMESA member countries to take Cyber Security issues seriously. In this regard the member countries will start pushing strongly for the enactment and implementation of policies and legislation geared towards making the member countries be prepared to tackle Cyber Security threats.
Arguments have been put forth that there is no need for legislative frameworks for regulating the Internet. However, it was also mentioned that implementation of Digital Certification for online transactions in Japan did not succeed as the only lacking framework for the functionality of the system was legislation; all other technical considerations being in place.
Legislation was mentioned to be key in that implementation of any security features meant to protect individuals and the state could be challenged in courts and be required to dropped if the features are determined to be outside the existing laws. These factors and considerations, as explained by Dr. Fred Mitiangi, make Kenya rally behind the convention for the establishment of a credible legal framework for cyber security in Africa.
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