The Cold War Against Hackers

It seems it is always defenses that follow offense. Defense always playing catch up with new attacks in the infosec community… why? At this point I feel confident that it is common knowledge that infosec risks exist and will continue in perpetuity. So why are we not Cold Warring these punk hackers? Preemptively investing in technologies and hunting bad actors before they harm your people.

A huge reason that the Soviet bloc fell and Nato continues to exist is because Nato took and held the initiative for most the contest. Culminating in the Star Wars program, it was the Soviets who had to play catch up with overwhelming Western capabilities.

The Cold War was entered because both sides came to the realization that the other was not going away. Furthermore, that each side had the capacity to inflict great damage and their doctrine insisted that there would be collisions. The same understanding exists between the US government and Latin American Cartels. Which is why there exists dedicated resources and organizations to combatting each other.

Then Cheat Your Ass Off Because This Isn’t A Board Game

When I go to infosec briefings it seems it is always the story of playing catch up. Somebody hacked someone. Somebody cashed out. Somebody is hiding in some distant country. We can’t stop them or catch them. I can’t help but think this would not be the case if global infosec had the attention the Soviets did.

After all, it isn’t even fair when you consider the aggressors vs the defenders. It’s NATO and change vs remnants inside the old Soviet bloc. The only country that has gained strength from those times is China. Russia does not have anywhere near the organization or resources they had. The satellite states are for the most part in different states of disrepair and ruin. When it comes to non state backed attacks, it seems every briefing is about chasing down a gang of five in the satellite states.

In every age conflict is dictated by the new big thing. The country that dominated that technology dominated everything. First is was the longbow. Then the horse. Then the gun, tank, airplane, atom and now the digital bit. Look around at the RFC’s for core tech. Look at the headquarters locations for tech companies. Look at the universities with the best tech educations. When do you come across one not in the US? Practically everything digital starts in the US. So how on Earth do we not have complete domination?

To the point. I feel there is a lack of love for infosec. I feel that if there was greater investment and attention to infosec companies and innovation focused on preemptive measures, we would be spared a great deal of damage. The name of the game is reacting to modern attacks. While desperately patching and updating out of date tech in our infrastructure. Had policies been in place maintaining a standard of excellent care, we wouldn’t be wondering each night if our power grid will be turned off. But it isn’t too late to start. The only thing worse than enacting these policies today instead of yesterday. Is waiting to do it tomorrow.