Russia: According to the U.K.’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Jeremy Hunt, Russia has been systematically targeting the national infrastructure around the world. The U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center, in concert with 16 other NATO nations, are tracking Russia’s attempts to probe for vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure around the world as well as ways to compromise government networks. This campaign is believed to be the work primarily of members of Russia’s national intelligence service. Attacks on critical infrastructure can be devastating to governments and private industry alike. Over the past several years, the security of critical infrastructure, especially the power grid, have come into question and have been the topic of no small debate. While very few have doubted that Russia has had an interest in vulnerabilities to government networks and critical infrastructure, this is one of the first public claims that significant activity towards that goal have been seen. Not surprisingly, one of the other major concerns brought up in Mr. Hunt’s address was Russian efforts to influence and compromise democratic elections. With online information being so heavily relied on by large portions of the population in most developed nations, misinformation campaigns become extremely easy to carry out.
While this address from Mr. Hunt may seem to be bad for Russia, it is unlikely that much will change out of Russia in response–with the exception of the usual claims by Russia that these claims are unfounded and that Russia is again the victim of western aggression.