With the increasing global need to gather intelligence information, several individuals, governments and businesses are employing hacking methods in order to achieve their goals.
As it is, information gathering is a very crucial skill to have, especially when these entities are dealing with competitors, enemies and even close associates.
Hacking enables them to keep tabs on their contenders and to determine the next cause of action if any troubles arise.
Below, though not in order, are some countries with brilliant minds that have risen to become some of the most feared hackers around the world.
Some of China’s hackers are said to be felons and are hired by the government to perpetuate the vice.
From this, even if they are caught or traced, there is nothing one can do to stop them.
There’s no way to report them to authorities, as they are well known within those circles.
They are hired by the state to infiltrate systems of other governments and obtain intelligence information which may serve the interests of various departments.
States that have fallen victim to China’s acts include Australia, the United States, Canada and India.
Also, according to multiple trusted sources, approximately 41 percent of cyber attacks originate from this country.
Apart from this, the youth in China are highly exposed to technology and thus possess high cyber literacy levels.
The exposure encourages cyber crime, as they are aware of ways to manipulate systems that may have vulnerabilities of varying degrees.
2. The U.S.
The U.S. intelligence community is fond of creating hacking tools which are meant to perform various tasks, depending on whether they want to send spyware or infect their target with a virus.
Recently, organizations and institutions around the world experienced a major ransomware attack that went by the name “Wannacry” or “Wcry.” The Russian government accused the U.S. of allegedly losing control over their creation, majorly because a couple of malicious hackers out there are using the tools to cause havoc.
In another instance, flaws were discovered and leaked to the public about vulnerabilities in Windows PC file sharing.
This discovery was linked to U.S. intelligence, who would install spyware on computers and use the device as a vehicle to monitor people’s daily actions and communications, including those of suspected terrorists.
Apart from that, the former president of the U.S. mentioned at a G20 summit—which took place when he was still the commander in chief—that America has the world’s most efficient and effective cyber arsenal.
Also, back in 2010, a worm by the name of Stuxnet wreaked havoc within industrial nuclear plants in Iran.
The virus, which experts believe was created by U.S. intelligence entities, spread to devices through the use of USB flash disks.
In this case, if a USB was entered into a computer with the virus, it would automatically find its way to the drive.
So any other computer that accommodates the flash would automatically become infected.
It could also spread through networks and through the internet.
The sole purpose of the virus was to cause disruption to the centrifuges and lower the levels of Uranium.
3. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russia)
Of course, Russia is well known to the U.S. intelligence for quite some wrong reasons.
In the run up to the 2016 general elections that saw Donald Trump eventually becoming the U.S. president, Russia was accused of meddling in the elections in a way that would favour Trump.
To prove that Russia is no joke, they have developed jamming systems.
The systems have the capability of rendering communication within a certain radius useless, and this fact is well known to NATO member states.
According to multiple sources, the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee and released information that jeopardized the probability of a win by then-presidential candidate and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
As of writing this article, the relevant authorities are still investigating Trump’s alleged involvement with the Russians.
Even though he fired the FBI Director James Comey, things are not yet smooth. His in-law Jared Kushner is also being investigated for his alleged involvement with Russia.
On the other hand, Clinton said that the firing of the director is meant to derail, and finally bury the probe of Russia involvement.
Turkey is among the countries that have a relatively high level of internet traffic, according to trusted sources. And it is for this reason that it is on our list.
They are pretty notorious, and just a couple of months ago they issued some threats that they could wipe out information that’s on Apple devices—simply by infiltrating their systems and deleting the main content, which has very useful information.
The threat further prompted bloggers to come up with new ways of educating Apple users how to beef up security on their devices.
Another instance that involved Turkish hackers was a situation where they defaced multiple websites and Twitter accounts.
Also, according to a news report from Reuters, a particular Turkish hacker was issued with eight years’ imprisonment in the U.S. for alleged hacking of banking institutions and other forms of punishable cyber offenses.
On the political side, there was a fallout between the Dutch and Turkish governments that sparked a diplomatic dispute after Turkish hackers facilitated cyber attacks on a couple of websites in the Netherlands.
Among the countries in Southern America, Brazil takes the lead in term of cyber warfare, with a substantial amount of cyber traffic pointing to the state.
What made the Brazilian hackers come to the surface of public attention was their attempt to hack visitors who attended the recent Olympics that were held in the capital city of Rio de Janeiro.
Other reasons that point to cyber crime coming from Brazil are that many users in the country prefer using online payment platforms and electronic funds transfer services.
Some time back, the Brazilians were spied on by the U.S. National Security Agency (or NSA) and, in a revenge mission, they attacked the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), instead of the NSA.
Another instance that puts Brazil on our list is the fact that attackers were able to tamper with 36 domains of an individual bank, and this meant that they had control over very crucial information that could enable them to steal quite a huge number of assets.
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