Definition:- Cyber espionage (also spelled cyber espionage) “ | involves the unauthorized probing to test a target computer’s configuration or evaluate its system defenses, or the unauthorized viewing and copying of data files.| ” |
“ | uses computer or related systems to collect intelligence or enable certain operations, whether in cyberspace or the real world.| ” | Cyber spying, or cyber espionage, is the act or practice of obtaining secrets without the permission of the holder of the information (personal, sensitive, proprietary or of classified nature), from individuals, competitors, rivals, groups, governments and enemies for personal, economic, political or military advantage using methods on the Internet, networks or individual computers through the use of cracking techniques and malicious software including Trojan horses and spyware. It may wholly be perpetrated online from computer desks of professionals on bases in far away countries or may involve infiltration at home by computer trained conventional spies and moles or in other cases may be the criminal handiwork of amateur malicious hackers and software programmers. Cyber spying typically involves the use of such access to secrets and classified information or control of individual computers or whole networks for a strategic advantage and forpsychological, political and physical subversion activities and sabotage. More recently, cyber spying involves analysis of public activity on social networking sites like Face book and Twitter. Such operations, like non-cyber espionage, are typically illegal in the victim country while fully supported by the highest level of government in the aggressor country. The ethical situation likewise depends on one's viewpoint, particularly one's opinion of the governments involved. Crime and espionage form a dark underworld of cyberspace. Whereas crime is usually the first to seek out new opportunities and methods, espionage usually follows in its wake, borrowing techniques and tradecraft. The Shadows in the Cloud report illustrates the increasingly dangerous ecosystem of crime and espionage and its embeddedness in the fabric of global cyberspace.
Today, data is transferred from laptops to USB sticks, over wireless networks at café hot spots, and stored across cloud computing services whose servers are located in far-off political jurisdictions. These new modalities of communicating de-concentrate and disperse the targets of exploitation, multiplying the points of exposure and potential compromise. Paradoxically, documents and data are probably safer in a file cabinet, behind the bureaucrat’s careful watch, than they are on the PC today.
The ecosystem of crime and espionage is also emerging because of opportunism on the part of actors. Cyber espionage is the great equalizer. Countries no longer have to spend billions of dollars to build globe-spanning satellites to pursue high-level intelligence gathering, when they can do so via the web. We have no evidence in this report of the involvement of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) or any other government in the Shadow network. But an important question to be entertained is whether the PRC will take action to shut the Shadow network down. Doing so will help to address long-standing concerns that malware ecosystems are actively cultivated, or at the very least tolerated, by governments like the PRC who stand to benefit from their exploits though the black and grey markets for information and data. Finally, the ecosystem is emerging because of a propitious policy environment — or rather the absence of one — at a global level. Governments around the world are engaged in a rapid race to militarize cyber space,to develop tools and methods to fight and win wars in this domain. This arms race creates an opportunity structure ripe for crime and espionage to flourish. In the absence of norms, principles and rules of mutual restraint at a global level, a...