GZERO Media logo

Countering Cyberattacks: Name and Shame and Leave

Countering Cyberattacks: Name and Shame and Leave

There you are, minding your business as a nation state when Iranian geeks hack the networks of hundreds of your universities, rip off more than $3 billion worth of research AND leak the latest season of Game of Thrones. If you’re Washington, you respond by issuing felony charges and financial sanctions against the Iranian hackers and…


Wait, that’s it? Surely the US has the capability to inflict significant damage on state and non-state actors alike in cyberspace. But when it comes down to it, as my pal Kevin Allison explains, it’s harder for the US to pull the cyber-trigger than you’d think.

First, there’s no Geneva Convention for cyberspace at the moment. Without global agreement on the distinction between online behavior that is merely bad and what’s truly unacceptable, it’s difficult to determine proportionality in the cyber realm. Does large scale IP theft, for example, demand the same response as hacks or disruptions of critical infrastructure?

Second, unlike, say, lobbing a few cruise missiles at an airbase, cyberattacks and counter-attacks don’t have a neat geography. If those Iranians used servers in Dubai, does striking back at them entail an attack on Iran or on the UAE? Abu Dhabi will be keenly interested in your answer.

Third, cyberattacks are tough to control with precision. If your counterattack spreads beyond its intended target, it can cause collateral damage — including to friends and allies.

So while the US certainly could inflict an awful lot of pain on the Iranians, or any other cyber-attackers, hackers, or crypto-unsavories, the reality is that in most cases doing so is a lot messier and riskier than it seems.

Meet Alessandra Cominetti, a recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine's Innovators Under 35 award. As a lab technician at Eni's Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Novara, Alessandra has devoted her career to finding new solutions and materials to optimize solar energy. Much like the serendipitous encounter that resulted in her employment, her eagerness and willingness to try new things allowed her to stumble upon a material for the creation of portable solar panels.

Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

"If [the election] is very close and it ends up in the courts, that kind of protracted situation I think will lead many Americans to believe that it was an unfair election." Rick Hasen, election law expert and author of Election Meltdown, lays out some of the worst-case scenarios for Election Day, ranging from unprecedented voter suppression to dirty tricks by foreign actors. The conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. The episode begins airing nationally in the US on public television this Friday, October 30. Check local listings.

Joe Biden has vowed to radically change the US' approach to foreign policy and international diplomacy should he win next week's election.

But a lot has happened in four years under Donald Trump that could impede Biden's ability to simply return to the status quo ante. How different would US foreign policy really be under a Biden presidency? What will the two-term former vice president likely be able to change, and what's bound to remain the same, at least for now?

More Show less

On Wednesday, November 4 at 11a EST, we're gathering a panel to discuss "What Just Happened" with the US election. GZERO Media's Ian Bremmer, Tony Maciulis and Alex Kliment will be joined by The Washington Post's Karen Attiah and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber. Watch live at: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive.

Decision 2020: What Just Happened? Wednesday, November 4, 11a EST/8a PST

Panelists:

Bookmark this link to watch live: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive

Add to your calendar:

Add to Calendar

Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on a special US election edition of US Politics In 60 Seconds:

So, we're about five days out from the election right now.

And the story of this week has been the remarkably steady polling lead for Joe Biden that he's had for months now. The other big story is the turnout, massive amounts of turnout. 100% of the 2016 vote already cast in Texas. 60% nationwide votes already cast. We are headed for record shattering turnout, could be around 155 million Americans voting.

On election night, what are we watching for?

More Show less
UNGA banner

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal