“OOPS, YOUR FILES have been encrypted!” This was the chilling message that greeted hundreds of thousands of computer users last summer. The WannaCry ransomware attack brought production to a standstill at Renault factories across France, put lives at risk by attacking hospitals in the UK, and cost companies around the world billions of dollars in lost revenue.
The digital revolution has transformed our lives for the better. But this revolution has a dark side: Cyberattacks are now a part of our daily lives.
The very nature of these attacks poses a challenge. It is often difficult to know who has attacked you, or even whether you have been attacked at all. And the culprits vary from governments to criminal gangs to terrorist groups and lone individuals. Nowhere is the fog of war thicker than in cyberspace.
In the last few years, hackers have targeted political parties in France, the United States, and elsewhere in an attempt to subvert democracy. They have reportedly posed as ISIS terrorists to threaten the lives of US military wives. In 2016, the French television network TV-5 Monde was forced off the air in a direct attack on free speech.