Didn’t most of us, at one point, naively believe that a hacker is some dodgy pale guy, living of coca cola and pizza, playing around on his computer24/7, testing just how “clever” he could be, and that’s it, a pain in the ass for those that became his victim?
Why is it so that none of us like the idea that our governments and military around the world use every method available and useful also on the internet and also have skilled hackers on their payroll?
Cryptology, God damn, is invented by power structures like the church, the Greeks, the Roman Empire, the Persians, the Chinese in ancient times used systems of hiding and protecting information, and to mislead enemies and the population with disinformation when suited. Why should this change?
The internet is an excellent place for any authority to spread information in a manner that fits them best, it’s also a perfect environment to collect as much knowledge of opponents as possible. The amount of information, the scale of shared information and communication and the speed it’s delivered by is obviously interesting and time saving for any structure that have motifs for altering a fact, or deny some from getting a fact brought into public. Georgia just experienced this, and I’m just amazed that people react with surprise and “shock”.
Of course nations do this; they use any legal (and sometimes illegal) mean to get hold of information and knowledge. This is also true for information that is not meant to be shared. But it’s incredibility naive to believe that their own systems are not as vulnerable as others! It’s not only Georgia’s governmental web that is easy to lock down, most countries in the west have far too many weaknesses, and some are even without any crisis strategy in case of an attack. Why is it so hard to believe that a hostile party could do such a thing (or worse), if they have a strong motif for it?
It is indeed a fascinating paradox that Governments have knowledge to make use of gathering information, or being active in preventing or misleading others actively, but they seem to neglect that this fact goes for other Governments as well and they easily can become a victim of far worse scenarios that the Georgian example.
What are the damages, you might ask, if our country’s official web pages where shut down, it will only take a few hours or a day to get online again. Well, what if they didn’t put the pages down? What if they slightly change some of the information instead? What if they directed the public interaction to their own servers instead? There are so many ways of developing the simple attack “someone” did with the governmental site of Georgia, which could become very dangerous for individuals, groups of people in a society, or the whole nation. And even this simple action of “someone” proves that Georgia showed them very vulnerable and weak. What did that do to the Georgian public’s opinion of their leaders? I think the “someone” knew exactly what they could gain of this action and used the simplest means to achieve it.