Russia, Iran as well as North Korea are the main countries where the main attacks in the world come from, software engineer Milot Shala points out.
Engineer Shala in an interview for The Geopost says that despite the increase in attacks, little is being done to raise awareness among the population.
“The spectrum of powerful states in this case in cyber war is mainly North Korea, Russia, Iran, so the strongest states in this context carry out these attacks”, says Shala.
He mentions the case when Russian hackers attacked Ukraine.
“If we see from the historical side how it happened until now, remember the event of 2015 or 2016 when the electricity was interrupted in Ukraine, it came exactly from Russia at that time”, he adds.
Shala says that the attacks that come directly from the states are very sophisticated.
“If they come from the states, they are very sophisticated attacks because the states have an almost unlimited budget in the context, if they want to invest”, says Shala.
According to the software engineer, awareness is required in order to protect ourselves from these types of attacks.
“You need to be aware that on the technical side you can protect yourself in one way or another, but where is the weakest point, it is the issue of the human factor”, he emphasizes.
In this interview, Shala has given some practical advice on how to protect ourselves from cyber-attacks.
TheGeopost: From which countries is the Balkans, specifically Kosovo, the most attacked by cyber-attacks?
If we see from the historical side how it happened until now, if we remember the event of 2015 or 2016 when the electricity was interrupted in Ukraine, it came exactly from Russia at that time. For example, how the attack was done, it was done very intelligently by Russia in this case, they infected the software update and when the users clicked to update the software, the virus just entered the system and in that form have gained access to critical infrastructure.
Another part, if we remember the Olympic games that happened earlier in Korea, it was North Korea that did the same attack. The spectrum of powerful states in this case in cyber war is mainly North Korea, Russia, Iran, so the strongest states in this context carry out these attacks.
TheGeopost: The last case of cyber-attacks we have is when Albania was attacked by Iran, how should we protect ourselves from these attacks and do Kosovo, Albania and the Balkan countries have enough capacity to oppose these attacks?
If we look at the spectrum of attacks, it comes from several types, it comes from people, individuals who only have a hobby, it comes from people who want to get information from corporations, but it also comes from people known as APT “Advanced Persistent Threat” which are the states in this case. And if they come from the states, they are very sophisticated attacks because the states have an almost unlimited budget in the context, if they want to invest. Therefore, when attacks come from countries, especially, in the specific case from Iran, the chances of being protected after the attack are very high, especially, in most cases historically, they entered and stayed for months or years inside the system until they have completely taken control of the system. When the attack is noticed it is too late. What should happen in this case, is the training, the awareness of the entire population should happen in advance, that when the attack comes it is already too late.
TheGeopost: Kosovo is also quite attacked by Serbian hackers who are coordinated by the state of Serbia, how did you counter these attacks as an IT community and how dangerous are they for Kosovo?
In terms of the community, it is normal that each of us when we are in IT and when we are professionals, we know how to educate our circle very well, for example by explaining what “phishing” is or in what form it can come. Where I think a little more work needs to be done, is a little greater awareness, the wider the spectrum. For example, one of the reasons is ICT, it is a big part that contributes to this. You just need to be aware that on the technical side you can protect yourself in one way or another, but where is the weakest point, it is the issue of the human factor.
TheGeopost: What is your message to our readers, how to protect ourselves from these attacks?
The main point is to educate yourself more, being very aware of what we have done online, what we have ordered online, and not every item we see should be clicked.
There are a few points that I would suggest, before you click on a link in an email, if you do, move your mouse and see what link it is sending you to? All modern browsers have that bar below that tells you, for example, if you received an email from “Gjirafa”, see if it is sending you to “Gjirafa50” or “Gjirafamall”? And the next point is if you see that you have received an email from a person you don’t know well and it came with an “attachment”, don’t download it immediately, verify it first.