Updated: Feb 21, 2019
Many suggestions and questions have arisen in late pointing to the advancement of a United States founded and funded cyber crime group (State Sponsored) whose primary objective would be countering highly active international cybercrime groups such as Russia. The big question is, will they, and should they?
There are many concerns and considerations to weigh before casting your vote and support in either direction. First and foremost, if The United States were to publicly announce a state sponsored hacktivist group, what would be the international opinion, and more worrisome, response? Several groups to include Russia, China, and The United States have all been in the news and spotlight in the past for conducting unofficial and unproven cyber interruptions into political events and other internationally related areas, however none so far have officially declared a “hack back” team, which of course violates several computer crime laws. In a modern society where the primary face of warfare is digital, enacting an official group like this may lay the foundation for an international response that leads to a world war of cyber related activities.
Will a group like this strengthen The United States defensive posture against international cyber criminal groups or strengthen the US economy? Possibly, however unfortunately for small and medium size business in the States, a group like this would be most focused on response to known threats, in other words, what the private sector reports as an incident to their organization, meaning, it doesn’t help small and medium sized business much, however, supports large organizations greatly.
How so? The federal government would absolutely and has already called for private sector support in the event that this group is funded and created. This means heavy hitters in the cyber defense private sector such as Checkpoint, a leader in Firewall Management, Mimecast, a leader in email security, and Crowdstrike, a leader in endpoint protection will all be called to support the group.
While this is great for these billion-dollar companies, it does not do much to support small and medium sized business, and thus does not strengthen the US economy well enough to allocate tax dollars.
While the concept of a United States “Hack Back” team sounds like a sport you may want to tune into, be cautious of the possible repercussions of such a team.
Worried about cybercrime? Your best bet is to make sure your entire team is kept up to date on security best practices, as well as engages in cybercrime awareness training on a minimum of an annual basis!