The most serious cyber warfare threats facing the West come from China and Russia, that much is undebatable, with Iran and North Korea a step or two behind. Those CRINK nation states occupy most of the strategic mindshare within the defense and intelligence agencies charged with keeping us safe. But now Lt.-Gen Vincent Stewart, former deputy chief of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, has warned that we need to urgently broaden our thinking.
Much of the cyber threat focused on military, critical infrastructure and commercial targets in the West is developed by so-called Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups allied with and funded by nation state agencies, but not embedded within them. We have seen these often arms-length entities double-hat their activities, conducting likely state-mandated operations while freelancing