governments do have the necessary technology and personnel that can effectively fight cybercrime

spies are regularly using tools more usually associated with cybercriminals

UK spy agency GCHQ operatives created fake web pages that injected malware into the computers of engineers running one of Belgium’s largest telecommunications companies in order to be able to access its systems.

a number of GCHQ staff are indeed hackers, but licensed by the state and protected by the Intelligence Services Act 1994 and ministerial warrant

When the criminals start to look like law enforcement, that is a very dangerous practice

So if they target someone specifically, they send an email with a booby trap -but they will only be sending it to the target and the malware wouldn’t have any self-replicating properties

You can limit the risk of accidental infection of uninvolved persons, but you can’t eliminate that risk entirely.

“Collateral damage and inadvertent surveillance of non-targeted individuals is almost certain.”

is it ethical to put malware on the computer of an innocent employee who just happens to have access to a computer system you may want to look at?

Likewise, violating the civil liberties of an individual crosses the ethical line. You can rationalise damage to engineers by lumping them into a collective as part of ‘their organisation’, but this is very subjective

The only way to be sure you too do not become a “target” is to “consider all networks untrustworthy”

Unfortunately, there isn’t much hope for the individual because most of the things that would otherwise secure the user have historically been controlled by groups* that have close ties to the government

(* the companies that register websites and encryption certificates)

The fact is that intelligence agencies are using advanced techniques actually more advanced than those used by criminals

We have enough proof now that governments do have the necessary technology and personnel that can effectively fight cybercrime


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