The year 2020 is one of its kind. While the majority of the world is battling with the menace of COVID-19, some nation-states have adopted the unofficial policy of cyber-attacks that lets them get an upper hand. The dark web has been very crucial in letting these authoritarian regimes coerce other states into accepting their whims and fancies. The utilization of cyber threat is unprecedented and poses grave danger to national security.

In the first, Australia was the first one to face a large-scale attack on its government institutions in early June. The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference regarding the same and urged its Five Eyes Network of Intelligence to investigate. The cyber-attack struck the Australian government systems as soon as Prime Minister Scott Morrison called upon China to make details on COVID-19 public.

Read More about attack on Australian government:

Simultaneously, Egypt has been accessed by the Ethiopian government of continuous cyber-attacks. Egypt has aggressively criticized the Ethiopian authorities on its Chinese backed Renaissance Dam that is being built on the Nile river. Egypt issued a statement that “if Ethiopia does not reach an agreement with us, we will… call for war.”

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam costs about $4.8 billion. The cyber-attacks are a result of Egypt’s dependence on the Nile. The hydroelectric dam would directly impact Egypt’s farming and industry since Nike accounts for about 85% needs of the state.

The cyber-attack on Ethiopian authorities has left. Pharaonic curse along with a picture message. In fact, there were some messages left on the Ethiopian government sites with a picture of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. The attack is said to have been executed by Horus Group and Anubis Group together.

India has faced its own share of Cyber Security Issues. The Indian government had recently issued a warning to its citizens about a probable cyber-attack.

Cyfirma, a firm that provides cybersecurity and solutions had shared one of its research findings with CERT India. In an interview with IndiaToday, it made it known that there was a 300% increase in Chinese dark web activity since June 18. The CEO Kumar Ritesh responded, “There was always an interest in India among the Chinese state-sponsored hackers, but they were not aggressive”  and that, the Chinese regime is collecting sensitive information (especially that relating to COVID-19) and profiling them.

It seems that the Chinese cyber threat is a result of the stand-off at the disputed Galwan Valley. As a result, India had banned about 59 of Chinese mobile applications including that of TikTok.

The Chinese government spokesperson of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian had made it known to the international community that China is strongly concerned about the said issue. He further stated that the Chinese government always asks its firms to abide by international and local laws.

For now, the authoritarian regimes (which call themselves democratic) have set a bad precedent. State-sponsored cyber-attacks have become a new version of dictatorship in itself. Cybersecurity has become an international issue. Therefore, nation-states should now engage in helping each other as the threat is diabolic to face alone.

By Ridha Dhawan


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