Cold war thaws over cybercrime

Posted by Nigel Constantine

While Russia and the US still have a bit of post-cold war blues, spies from the two nations are meeting secretly to work out ways to sandbag hackers.

According to the New York Times the countries are currently engaged in a virtual version of the nuclear arms talks being held between the two nations in Geneva.

Apparently both sides are keen to make an arrangement as neither actually wants a cyber-war. This is probably because while conventional war is usually good for business, a cyber-war takes down companies rather than the military.

Large-scale cyber attacks took place during the Russian and Georgian conflict and the Estonian government came grinding to a halt after an internet assault in 2007 after it miffed the Russians over the moving of a war grave.

Russia wants a disarmament treaty for cyberspace, while the US wants to foster greater international cooperation on cybercrime. At the moment Russian hackers are often difficult to extradite to the US.

So far a Russian delegation met with officials from the US military, state department and security agencies in Washington and the White House agreed to meet representatives from the UN committee on disarmament and international security.

The Russians and the US have sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities they are not going to talk about, which makes it a bit tricky to work out who is going to ban what.