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Rules of engagement issued to hacktivists after chaos

In the midst of increasing cyber threats and conflicts, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has issued rules of engagement for civilian hackers involved in conflicts. Due to the surge in patriotic cyber-gangs since the Ukraine invasion, the ICRC warns that these rules are necessary to prevent attacks on hospitals, the spread of uncontrollable hacking tools, and the incitement of terror among civilians. However, some hacking groups have expressed their plans to ignore these rules, raising concerns about the potential consequences of their actions. The ICRC is also urging governments to enforce existing laws to restrain hacking activities. The blurred boundaries between civilian and military hacking in the Ukraine conflict have led to the establishment of civilian groups, such as the IT Army of Ukraine, which target both Russian and public services. Despite these efforts to regulate hacking in conflicts, some groups view the rules as disadvantageous and not viable for their causes.

Rules of engagement issued to hacktivists after chaos

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Introduction

This article explores the recently published rules of engagement for civilian hackers by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC has issued these rules in response to the increasing numbers of people joining patriotic cyber-gangs, particularly in the context of the Ukraine conflict. The article will delve into the potential dangers and risks associated with hacking, the rise of patriotic hacking over the past decade, and the global spread of cyber-vigilantism. It will also discuss the disruptions caused by civilian hacking in various sectors and the importance of enforcing existing laws to address this issue.

ICRC publishes rules of engagement for civilian hackers

The ICRC has taken a significant step by publishing rules of engagement specifically targeted at civilian hackers involved in conflicts. This is the first time such rules have been issued, and they aim to address the growing numbers of individuals joining patriotic cyber-gangs. The ICRC has identified the Ukraine war as a focal point for these rules and has sent them directly to hacking groups engaged in this conflict.

Rules of engagement issued to hacktivists after chaos

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Increasing numbers of people joining patriotic cyber-gangs

The article highlights an unprecedented rise in the membership of patriotic cyber-gangs, especially following the invasion of Ukraine. The ICRC draws attention to pro-Syrian cyber-attacks on Western news media in 2013 as an early indication of this trend. However, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has accelerated the spread of cyber-vigilantism globally. The ICRC’s legal adviser, Dr Tilman Rodenhäuser, emphasizes the disruption caused by large hacker groups in various sectors such as banks, companies, pharmacies, hospitals, railway networks, and civilian government services.

Hackers warned of potential dangers and risks

The ICRC issues warnings about the potential dangers and risks associated with hacking. Notably, hackers themselves could become legitimate military targets as their actions may endanger lives. The ICRC seeks to urge hackers to reconsider their actions and ensure they are fully informed about the potential consequences of their activities.

Rules of engagement issued to hacktivists after chaos

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Rise of patriotic hacking over the past decade

Patriotic hacking has experienced a significant rise over the past decade, as mentioned in the ICRC’s statement. The article highlights the pro-Syrian cyber-attacks on Western news media as an example. However, the catalyst for the surge in patriotic hacking can be attributed to the Ukraine conflict. This rise has resulted in large hacker groups disrupting various sectors, causing widespread disruption.

Global spread of cyber-vigilantism

Cyber-vigilantism, characterized by civilian hacking activity, has expanded beyond the conflict in Ukraine. Experts consider these operations to be less sophisticated but highlight their potential to cause significant effects. Both sides involved in the conflict have carried out disruptive attacks on targets such as banks, companies, pharmacies, hospitals, and railway networks. The ICRC warns about the impact of cyber-vigilantism on the global population.

Rules of engagement issued to hacktivists after chaos

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Civilian hacking disrupts various sectors

Civilian hacking has disrupted various sectors, affecting banks, companies, pharmacies, hospitals, railway networks, and civilian government services. This has had widespread consequences on the general population. The ICRC has recognized these disruptions and developed specific rules addressing their impact on civilians.

International humanitarian law-based rules

The ICRC’s rules are based on international humanitarian law and consist of eight rules of engagement for civilian hackers. These rules include bans on attacks against civilian objects, hospitals, and others essential to the survival of the population. They also emphasize the importance of avoiding threats that spread terror among civilians and inciting violations of international humanitarian law. Compliance with these rules is necessary, even if the enemy does not adhere to them.

Rules of engagement issued to hacktivists after chaos

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Governments urged to enforce existing laws

The ICRC implores governments to restrain hacking activities and enforce existing laws. The article emphasizes the blurred boundaries between civilian and military hacking in the Ukraine conflict. The Ukrainian government has even encouraged the formation of civilian hacking groups to attack Russian targets. The ICRC highlights the need for governments to play an active role in addressing hacking issues.

The blurred boundaries in the Ukraine conflict

The Ukraine conflict has blurred the boundaries between civilian and military hacking. The Ukrainian government has actively supported civilian hacking groups such as the IT Army of Ukraine to target Russian entities. These groups have also extended their attacks to public services like railway systems and banks. The blurred boundaries pose challenges when it comes to defining the rules of engagement for civilian hackers.

Responses from hacking groups

Some hacking groups have expressed their plans to disregard the ICRC rules. Killnet, a prominent group, questions the authority of the Red Cross and their commitment to following the rules. Meanwhile, Anonymous Sudan, another hacking collective, has deemed the rules not viable and believes breaking them is unavoidable for their cause. Anonymous, a well-known collective, has previously adhered to similar principles but claims to have lost faith in the ICRC and will no longer follow their rules.

Conclusion

This comprehensive article delves into the recently published rules of engagement for civilian hackers issued by the ICRC. The rise of patriotic hacking and cyber-vigilantism, the dangers and risks associated with hacking, and the disruptions caused in various sectors are all discussed. The importance of international humanitarian law-based rules and the need for governments to enforce existing laws are emphasized. The blurred boundaries in the Ukraine conflict and the responses from hacking groups shed light on the complexity of addressing this issue. The article concludes by emphasizing the need for a collective effort to prevent chaos and minimize the impact of hacking on various sectors and the general population.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-66998064?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA