A sovereign Russian internet could lead to cybercriminal safe havens, giving greater confidence that large-scale attacks can be carried out without consequences, says a new report by cyber risk analytics expert CyberCube.
The report examines the rise in the use of wiper malware by Russian threat actors, which, unlike ransomware, has no financial element but is designed to destroy data and systems.
William Altman, CyberCube’s Principal Cyber Security Consultant, said, “A Russian sovereign internet has several potential implications for cyber activity.”
“Rival nations will find it more difficult to acquire cyber threat intelligence on threat actors operating from inside Russia and might resort to more drastic measures to achieve this goal, potentially causing collateral damage.”
“Furthermore, there is a potential for future “collaboration” between Russian, North Korean and Chinese internets, which would increase threat actors’ ability to launch attacks.”
Additionally, the report notes how cyber warfare has been an important tool for assisting physical activity on the ground in the six months following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It suggests that Russian actors are targeting governments outside of Ukraine, with the intent to gather intelligence on Western allies assisting Ukraine’s war effort.
It also states that Russia is using ransomware gangs to undermine the US economy while avoiding direct war, meanwhile, European energy companies are being targeted for strategic value.
CyberCube suggests that reinsurers should look across their portfolios for indications that certain companies may be susceptible to different threat actors, adding that forward-looking re/insurers are already starting to adopt a threat-modelling approach to portfolio risk management.
The report also looks at Lloyd’s recent requirement that all standalone cyber-attack policies must exclude liability for losses arising from state-backed attacks.
Yvette Essen, CyberCube’s Head of Content, said, “CyberCube believes this mandate will help reduce uncertainty and enable more insurers to participate with confidence, based on a clearer understanding of what is covered, and what is excluded.”