Google Takes a Stand on State Cyberattacks

Can private enterprise step into the digital crossfire when agents of a state conduct cyberattacks? Per Google, the answer is yes. Google have announced they will warn users if they see signs of a state-sponsored attempt to gain unauthorized access to a user’s accounts. How does Google know if an attack was sponsored by a state? Their response:

We can’t go into the details without giving away information that would be helpful to these bad actors, but our detailed analysis—as well as victim reports—strongly suggest the involvement of states or groups that are state-sponsored.

Google’s stance raises questions for other commercial entities, and how they view their ‘neutrality’ when it comes to protecting customers or handling cyberattacks. One problem with new technology is that it creates a need for new ethical precedents, and Google are trying to play their part in establishing those precedents. Telcos should take note.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.