Examine the geopolitical dimensions of the State-sponsored hacking / cyber attacks and their implications for Geopolitics.

Published: November 18, 2017

In one of the shocking developments of the decade, there has been a constant rise in the cases of cyber hacking that are backed by nation-States. Their targets are government institutions, industrial facilities and businesses that use sophisticated technology. The use has been mostly against the Western powers in which the US and Russia are the biggest players.
The influence of State in cyber hacking has given a political element to the problem. Its scope has been expanding owing to the centralization of data networks in terms of both energy distribution and information technology. The geopolitics of cyber security rises with the increased involvement of governments in the cyberspace. Some of the purposes achieved through this are:

  • Exerting power by a country as an alternative to military strikes as the latter are not only illegal as per international law but also result in huge costs. Some efforts have been seen by China to manipulate the internet. The attack on Iran’s industrial infrastructure that was confirmed to be state-sponsored is a burning example. The benefit of this attack is that unlike military attacks these do not reveal the identity of the perpetrator.
  • There is always a cyber conflict between state-owned companies and multinationals that provide the capitalists with tools to gain competitive commercial advantage. China is again a good example wherein it has used similar tactics to develop its own advanced technology.

The recent news of Russia manipulating US elections is also an example of this kind of attack.

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