Monday, January 5, 2015

The Top 10 Spy Stories of 2014

Intelligence news made as many headlines as just about anything else in 2014. The fallout of Edward Snowden's NSA leaks, the Senate Democrats' CIA 'Torture' Report, cyber hacking by North Korea, China and others, citizen privacy in the face of big brother government snooping, a new James Bond film announced, it seems espionage was never far away from the front pages of the news media.

Here are the Top 10 Spy Stories of 2014:

10. Regin Malware Infects Computers in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Others
  • The 'Cutting edge" malware program "Regin" monitored Russian and Saudi computer networks, among others, and it is suspected the US or Israel created it.
9. US Businesses Hurt by NSA Spying Fallout
  • Foreign countries expressed reluctance to hire US companies over fears of data security.
8. NSA Reform Bill Stalls in Congress
  • Internet heavyweights Google, Facebook, Twitter and others supported an NSA reform bill in Congress that was eventually voted down.
7. Cyber War Between Major World Powers
  • Military battles between superpowers isn't feasible but cyber wars are. North Korea, China, and Russia among others attacked computer systems in the US raising questions about how to respond.
6. US Charges 5 Chinese Military Officers With Spying
  • For the first time ever, the US leveled criminal charges against a foreign nation for cyber hacking trade secrets from companies.
5. Cyber Attacks on US Government Agencies by Hostile Nations
4. Tension Between US and Friendly Nations Over NSA Spying
3. Sony Hack by North Korea and/or Others
  • The Sony hack story, perpetrated probably by North Korea, prompted some to proclaim that the First Cyber War is now upon us.
2. Cuba Spy Swap
  • The Cuba spy swap precipitated a relative warming of relations between the US and Cuba.
1. Senate Democrats Release CIA Torture Report
  • Without question the biggest spy story of the year, the fallout of the release of this report affected virtually every country in the world.

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