We all know someone who has fallen prey to hackers on their email account, or Twitter, or elsewhere: your grandma, your coworker, or even The New York Times. This is how Mark Frons, chief information officer for The New York Times, explained the man-power behind attacks by Chinese hackers that spanned months on The Takeaway:
"There are at least 40 what they call 'advanced persistent threat teams.' These are hacker teams. They go to work every morning and hack into global corporations and then go home at night. And there are 40 of them at least that we know about. And this is just a whole culture of doing business in China and elsewhere in the world that we're just going to have to deal with."
The latest victim of a cyber-attack was the Department of Energy itself. Last month, hackers penetrated computers at the Energy Department’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and stole the personal information of hundreds of employees.
The attack comes as a secret legal review on the United States' cyber-weaponry concluded that President Obama "has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack."
The Pentagon has created a new Cyber Command, and computer network warfare is one of the few parts of the military budget that is expected to grow.
What will future cyber-conflicts look like? Richard Clarke, former White House counter-terrorism czar, has a few ideas. He's a managing partner of Good Harbor, a cyber-security consultancy.