Kaspersky Lab warns of dangers of ‘Balkanization’ of cyberspace

Kaspersky Lab presented the cybersecurity risks that can result from “Balkanization” in cyberspace — the fragmentation of the Web, during its 4th Asia Pacific (APAC) Cyber Security Weekend in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Photo shows (from left) Suguru Ishimaru, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab’s GReAT; Anton Shingarev, vice president of public affairs and head of the CEO office at Kaspersky Lab; Stephan Neumeier, managing director at Kaspersky Lab APAC; Vitaly Kamluk, director of GReAT in Kaspersky Lab APAC; Rizwi Wun, partner from RHTLaw Taylor Wessing; Alejandro Arango, global director for corporate communication at Kaspersky Lab, and Seongsu Park, Korea-based senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab

Held annually, this year’s conference featured key cybersecurity issues presented by the company’s top researchers and executives to an audience of journalists from 11 countries across the region.

The four-day event, with the theme of “Balkanization: Security Should Not Be in Isolation” highlighted the possible perils of de-globalization of the internet, alongside an overview of cyberthreats involving countries in Asia.

“Echoing the warning of our CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, we can clearly see that the utopia of a borderless digital global village is coming to an end. With different countries building their local web fences, the initially free internet is turning into divided and independent patches of online states, which may benefit individual countries to some extent, but will surely be an ace card for criminals aiming to unleash worldwide cyberthreats,” said, Kaspersky Lab APAC managing director Stephan Neumeier.

To provide comprehensive insights into the current state of cyber security in APAC, three elite cybersecurity experts from Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) put the spotlight on the most important online attacks monitored in the region.

Top billing this year’s conference, Kaspersky Lab’s director of GReAT in APAC, Vitaly Kamluk, demystified the future of the Internet based on his 13 years’ experience in analyzing malware and the current laws and trends that transform the cyber security landscape around the world.

“The volume of new malware we detect daily has been increasing year-on-year in number, in sophistication, and in reach. The future of the internet is fragile and, as nations scramble to beef up their defenses, we’re giving birth to Balkanization. However, fragmentation is not the armor we need to face the menace of the internet of tomorrow. Remember, a divided world is easier to conquer. We need cooperation, collaboration, and mutual trust to effectively thwart these cybercriminals who do acknowledge neither geopolitics nor borders,” warned Kamluk.

Kaspersky Lab founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky noted in an article how countries like Brazil and Germany are considering, or may have already kicked off their independent sectors of the internet which involve building parallel networks, isolated from the internet, for highly confidential communication exchanges.

Aside from this, several countries are also crafting policies requiring global tech giants like Google and Facebook to shift their data centers to local locations to curb foreign spying and overseas data intrusions.

Kaspersky has emphasized that Balkanization and the advent of protectionism being displayed by nations around the world will benefit no one but the cybercriminals.

In addition to the important debate on the future of the internet, Kaspersky Lab’s Korea-based senior security researcher, Seongsu Park, tackled the sophisticated and infamous online adversary of APAC countries: the Lazarus group. Park zeroed in on the operations of this notorious, Korean-speaking advanced persistent threat (APT) which has launched fake supply chain attacks in delivering malware to Windows and even MacOS devices.

Suguru Ishimaru, security researcher in Kaspersky Lab’s GReAT, shared the methods used to analyze Android malware and will reveal the recent activities of the mobile malware dubbed as Roaming Mantis. This money-motivated attacker was able to successfully infect Android smartphones in South Korea, Bangladesh, and Japan through DNS hijacking earlier this year.

To highlight Kaspersky Lab’s latest action towards trustworthiness and honesty in the cyber security industry, Anton Shingarev, vice president of public affairs and head of the CEO office at Kaspersky Lab, detailed the company’s Global Transparency Initiative during the summit.

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