As President Vladimir Putin was insisting that the hacking attacks that influenced the outcome of elections in the United States or could influence other ones in Europe (as some have alleged) was carried by “patriotic hackers”, the head of the French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems is warning of the approaching risk of “permanent war” in cyberspace since espionage and fraud are no longer the domain of criminals, but has become a statecraft.
In an interview he had with the Associated Press on Thursday, Guillaume Poupard said that “in terms of effects and impact, we are clearly getting closer to a state of war.”
According to him, the lack of commonly agreed rules to govern cyberspace has created an environment where “we are clearly getting closer to a state of war in terms of effects and impact” and that nations needs to start working “work collectively, not just with two or three Western countries, but on a global scale.”
As if he was saying that President Putin have been right all along, he said that his agency has found no trace of a notorious Russian hacking group in its investigations of a hack and document leak that hit French President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign.
President Putin while speaking at a meeting with senior editors of leading international news agencies, alleged that some evidence pointing at Russian hackers’ participation in attacks could have been falsified in an attempt to smear Russia.
“Russia have never engaged in that on a state level, and have no intention of doing so. I can imagine that some do it deliberately, staging a chain of attacks in such a way as to cast Russia as the origin of such an attack,” Putin said. “Modern technologies allow that to be done quite easily.”
However, he pointed out that that hackers, wherever they come from can’t sway election outcomes because the public mood cannot be manipulated that easily.
“I’m deeply convinced that no hackers can radically influence another country’s election campaign,” he said. “No hackers can influence election campaigns in any country of Europe, Asia or America.”
He also added that the “Russo-phobic hysteria” makes it “somewhat inconvenient to work with one another or even to talk.”
U.S. intelligence agencies have accused Russia of hacking into Democratic Party emails, helping President Donald Trump’s election victory, and the Congressional and FBI investigations into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia have shattered Moscow’s hopes for a detente with Washington.
Anyway, while Mr. Poupard is predicting a soon-coming cyber Armaggeddon, Mr. Putin actually believes that the current strain in relations will ease, because “it’s counterproductive and harmful.”
We hope that such will be the case because if this madness that has infected humanity is left unchecked, the horrors and havoc of the 20th century will be nothing, compared to the ones we will see.