When you see Edward Snowden how firmly he holds the US flag close to his heart on the latest Wired Magazine cover, then you think or say or feel what exactly? For the US citizens and government this is an obvious case of bitter joke or inappropriate sense of humor. For the rest of us he will be a symbol.
Or, maybe a tragic figure who used a time machine to get to us from the ancient Greece. One thing is more than certain in this case. There are no chances for this one to become a win-win situation for him. We are very likely to witness a loose-and-then-loose-again situation for Edward Snowden.
Was it worth it? All these troubles and all this pain. This is a question only he knows an answer to. We have been awakened from a fake dream of flawless IT security and privacy, and there is no way back. The similar thing happened to Neo in The Matrix. Edward did not even ask us to choose between the red and blue pill.
He made a choice in our name. Eventually, he will also suffer consequences in our name. We will make a movie about him. Create a foundation with an annual reward carrying his name. What is there for him personally? Does he wish for a time machine while he reads the Wired Magazine at the Moscow airport?
We got ourselves an additional chapter in the bloody book of Ukraine crisis. This time the Russian government demands the source codes from the leading IT companies, which wish to do business on the Russian soil. So far, only the Microsoft showed the unreserved readiness to cooperate.
On the other side, Apple and SAP are having some second thoughts about it. The Russian government is deadly worried about the spying threat. It seems that in all software made in the USA they see the NSA and CIA signature. So, what is the response of the US based companies in this matter?
It seems that Apple and SAP are not willing to cooperate. The Russians were so kind to remind them of Microsoft’s flawless cooperation over the last couple of years. This is a nice test for US companies to evaluate how important is their business in Russia. Something similar Google has been experiencing in China.
It all comes down to numbers, eventually. If you want to play a game of profit in the certain country, you have no other choice than to embrace the local rules more or less willingly. In the Russian case a fragile balance between the economy and politics has to be achieved this way or another.
Here is something you do not see very often in the world of cybercrime. The Dragonfly is a highly skilled and specialized hacking group, which targets specifically energy related IT infrastructure. According to one of the rumors Russia stands behind this group in both staff and logistics. This is how the Dragonfly got one more name.
The Energy Bear is its other name. You know how it goes, don’t you? The bear is an obvious association for Russia itself. And, the energy is for all the energy facilities under a direct threat of this group. It is worth mentioning that these Russian hackers target exclusively EU and USA based or related energy related companies.
Are they exaggerating? Are they sure these are Russian guys on the run? For what is worth, someone is causing so many troubles to the energy focused corporations. The Energy Bear has very powerful malware claws, that is for sure. On the other hand, after the recent events in Ukraine the energy sustainability is of the greatest importance for the Western Hemisphere.
Let us face it. The war is on. You can call it the continuation of the cold war. It has all the elements of an unprecedented energy conflict. Nowadays, the hackers are wearing government suits or even worse military uniforms. Cyber war is a reality more than ever. There has to be an appropriate answer coming from the West.