Julian Assange and the Cyber-Insecurity Gold Rush

The advent of Wikileaks to headlines of its founder being dragged into police custody are indicators of how important, and lucrative cybersecurity has become.

After about seven years of staying solely within the Ecuadorian embassy in London, England, Julian Assange literally had to be dragged out. What in the world could have made the man so attached to the place?

 

According to Wikipedia, an organization that has made it clear that it is not in anyway associated with Wikileaks, Julian Assange started Wikileaks in 2006, and in December that year the now iconic whistleblower website’s inaugural leak came out; documents that incriminate a Somali political figure of authorizing assassinations of government officials.  By 2008, Wikileaks was sued by a Swiss bank.

 

Wikileaks really received international fame and notoriety among governments with the Iraq War documents leak and Afghan War documents leak in 2010. In November of that year Julian was  issued an international arrest warrant by Sweden over allegations of sexual assault and rape.

Assange denied that he sexually assaulted or raped anyone and said that it was actually a US conspiracy to detain him for leaking information that is damaging to the US.

Julian turned himself in and was released on bail within 10 days. After becoming convinced he would be extradited to the US, he breached his bail in June 2012 and went underground. He was granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 and remained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London until his arrest in April 2019 for breaking the terms of his bail on the Swedish warrant which has been dropped.

 

Of course, hacking and cyber security concerns were around way before Wikileaks and Julian Assange. The man and his website just made them become much more mainstream, and ‘cool’. However, this is where a guy like Julian Assange becomes a threat to the status quo, he becomes an agent of an evolving subculture’s emergence that is shifting the paradigm of espionage and spies. A non-government agency that receives stolen information and gives it to the public, like a public CIA.

 

But is Julian a hero of the public? The Economist even suggests he might be a state agent conspiring against the western nations, and that Wikileaks was an apparatus used by Russia to sway the 2016 presidential elections in the US.

Whatever the case, Global Market Insights estimates that the cybersecurity current market value of over $120 billion will grow to over $300 billion by 2024. Of course, that means the cybersecurity threats will be growing just as much, as well.

 

Techradar has dubbed the interconnected Internet of Things infrastructure of houses, corporations, or cities as “Complex IoT Environments” (CIEs). CIEs offer new opportunities for hackers to launch physical and digital attacks. That’s bad news for IT professionals as it means a further expansion of the corporate attack surface. But it also means big business for innovative ways of securing cyberspace.

According to the BBC, Morphisec, a company founded on research from Ben-Gurion University in Israel, has developed what it calls “moving target security“. It’s a way of scrambling the names, locations and references of each file and software application in a computer’s memory to make it more immune to cyber attacks with malware.

 

A “mutation” occurs each time the computer is turned on so the system is never configured the same way twice. The firm’s tech is used to protect the London Stock Exchange and Japanese industrial robotics firm Yaskawa, as well as bank and hotel chains.

 

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