Government-Funded Hacking on the Rise

June 13, 2018

Hacking is hardly a new concept for governments in developed countries. However, recent years have seen rapid growth in hacking for several reasons. Social media has allowed people to network with one another more comprehensively than ever before, and our various electronic devices are often networked together as well (with our phones linked to our laptops linked to our bank accounts and so on). Not only that, but corporate consolidation has often led one or two huge companies to have control over nearly all the user data in their relevant markets. In other words, there are more ways to hack, and the targets are bigger and juicier, and hacking one platform like a phone can grant access to an entire network of linked devices and files.

 

Consequently, the last few months have exposed one massive hack after another. Equifax lost personal data on millions of Americans during a hack last September, followed quickly by Deloitte that same month. Prior to these, various US government agencies suffered direct hacks, some of which were not detected until long after the damage had been done. And of course, who can forget the hack that crippled Sony prior to its release of the movie "The Interview," or the many hacks during the 2016 US Presidential Election which undermined Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton?

 

Sometimes, it's not clear who was responsible for these hacks. Other times, it's all too certain. Many of these hacks against the US government have been linked to Russia and China, countries with extensive histories of cyberattacks. China was heavily implicated in the hack made against the US government 

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