The ability of several
countries to launch
politically-motivated
cyber-attacks has increased
and put critical
infrastructure in the
crosshairs, according to a
sweeping report from McAfee.

In its fifth annual

Virtual Criminology Report
 (PDF),
McAfee noted that not only
have politically-motivated
cyber-attacks increased, but countries
such as Russia, the U.S. and
China
are developing advanced offensive
capabilities. According
to the report, the U.S. nearly
put its capabilities front
and center before the 2003 invasion
of Iraq when U.S.
military and intelligence
agencies planned a
cyber-attack on the Iraqi
financial system. The attack
was called off out of
concern that it would impact
other countries, the report
states.

“While in this case

the U.S. decided to hold
back due to the high risk of
collateral damage, one can
imagine what the
consequences for the private
sector might be if
hostilities were to erupt
between two major powers,”
according to the report.

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