In an interview, Northeastern University professor Themis Papageorge discusses the cybersecurity threat presented by rogue hacker groups such as Anonymous, and how the U.S. government can shield itself against future cyber sieges.
"Threat agents, such as Anonymous group members, are motivated by many factors, ranging from personal gain to revenge, peer recognition, curiosity, and crime; to political, religious and secular influence; and potentially to terrorism and national military objectives," Papageorge says.
He believes the government needs to make a more effective effort to defend against hacker groups, both in terms of technical capabilities and context. There has to be consistent implementation of risk-based technical countermeasures and controls for networks and computer systems, as well as policies and user awareness, Papageorge notes.
"Since the attackers have the advantage of choosing the method and time of attack, federal agencies could make risk-based decisions by defending against the most damaging attacks only by having access to a comprehensive and current data set of attacks and methods," Papageorge says.
He recommends sharing attack and method data and scenarios across federal agencies and public organizations. "If al-Qaeda were to acquire the technical capabilities of a hacker group such as Anonymous, they would be a very credible and high-risk cyber security threat," Papageorge warns.
From Northeastern University News
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