Key Points

Financial regulators around the world are trying to contain illicit funding in cryptocurrency markets. Jihadist groups thus far have not raised much money, but the Hamas campaign shows that no matter the price of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies are a new and easily accessible way to diversify their funding portfolio. It is unlikely that terrorist cryptocurrency crowdfunding is going away soon.

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While Iran is unlikely to match the cyber capabilities of Russia, China, or even North Korea in the short term, this third-tier actor has already racked up some notable wins. Between 2011 and 2013, in some of their first forays into cyberwarfare, Iranian hackers cost U.S. financial institutions tens of millions of dollars and knocked Saudi Aramco’s business operations offline for months. Over the past two years, Iranian hackers hit more than 200 companies around the world, inflicting hundreds of millions dollars’ worth of damage, according to a new Microsoft report. We downplay this evolving menace at our peril.

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*Arrest figures for Russia include the arrest of Canadian citizen Karim Baratov for hacking Yahoo on behalf of Russia.

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In a letter to British lawmakers trying to reassure London that Huawei is not assisting Chinese espionage, Ryan Ding, president of the company’s carrier business group, wrote, “Were Huawei ever to engage in malicious behavior, it would not go unnoticed.” But the United States and its allies have noticed. Washington must therefore investigate and prosecute the full range of Huawei’s apparent illegal and illicit activities, and bar any lawbreaker from contributing to U.S. critical telecommunications infrastructure.

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An arrest in Canada. Another in Poland. Government bans in Canberra, Wellington, and Tokyo. Corporate snubs and ostracism in South Korea, Britain, Germany, and France. The loss of purchase orders by one of the world’s largest wireless providers. And now a 13-count indictment by the U.S. Justice Department. It has been a bad few months for Chinese telecommunication titan Huawei. Unleashing the collective power of its democratic allies, the United States may have finally found the formula for imposing real costs on its cyber adversaries.

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Events

EVENT: The Battlefield of Today and Tomorrow: Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare

November 13, 2018 | 10:00

Projects