The Spy Who Never Has to Go Out Into the Cold: Cyber Espionage

The Spy Who Never Has to Go Out Into the Cold: Cyber Espionage

Laura Pinto Hansen (Western New England University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9715-5.ch017

Abstract

At the height of the Cold War, spies were more likely to be required to live secret lives in deep undercover. The same held true for corporate and industry spies. Even though government and industry spies may still be required to go out in the field, the digital and big data ages have offered the relative comfort of executing spy operations within one's home or office, offering challenges to detecting, investigating, and controlling espionage. Due to various network means, spies never have to “go out into the cold” – code for going deep undercover. Some of the network conduits discussed are the dark web and deep web and their roles in making covert operations even more secretive than when spies were required to go in the field. Methods of obtaining sensitive information and disabling computer systems are explored as well, including phishing and various means to deliver malware, presented in layman's terms. Once the stuff of science fiction and Hollywood movies, life is very much imitating art, with examples given from famous cyber espionage cases.
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Defining Cyber Espionage

As Randall Dipert (2013) argues, the terms “cyber attack” and to some extent, “cyber espionage” are loosely interchangeable, used to cover a wide range of cybercrimes. We should be clear that cyber espionage is more commonly thought to be limited to the theft of military or government secrets. A subset of cyber espionage is economic espionage, sometimes called industrial espionage, where governments attempt to gain information from foreign companies (Banks, 2017). A cyber attack or cyber warfare, on the other hand, implies that the act is for the purposes of bringing down whole systems, as in the example of viruses transmitted by bogus links imbedded in spam email.

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