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2017, the Ransomware phenomenon has emerged as the biggest cyberattack the world has experienced in recent years. Indeed, the cyberattacks WannaCry and Petya ransomware have paralyzed many companies and administrations, amplified by the sophistication of propagation methods used. These cyberattacks sound like threats to the durability of cyberspace and strongly impact global geopolitics. To take on these challenges, states and the international community put in place several initiatives for a more stable cyberspace.


The "WannaCry" cyberattack affected more than 150 countries in hospitals, businesses and home computers; an unprecedented infection according to the European Police Office (Europol). Microsoft calls again for a "Digital Geneva Convention" to limit future cyberattacks. The US National Security Agency accuses North Korean government of being responsible for the creation of the WannaCry rebate system.

Moreover, Marcus Hutchins who stopped the progression of Wannacry is accused of helping to create and distribute the "banking Trojan Kronos" intended to steal funds from online bank accounts between July 2014 and July 2015. This accusation is at the origin of his arrest in the United States.

Next to the Wannacry cyberattack, Petya ransomware has hit tens of thousands of computers in more than 65 countries. Ukraine and Russia were the most affected countries. Some French companies have also been impacted.

On financial sector, Equifax, a US credit company announces a cybersecurity incident that has affected approximately 143 million US consumers due to vulnerability on part of its US website while Russia, Ukraine and Turkey are victims of the malware BAD RABBIT Ransomware.

On collaborative economy sector, Uber admits having suffered theft of names, addresses, e-mail and mobile phone numbers of 57 million passengers. The transport company acknowledges having paid 100,000$ US to thieves for the destruction of the data.

In addition, security researchers Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens detect a major vulnerability in the WPA2 protocol that secures protected Wi-Fi networks.

Moreover, according to the report of Europol's European Cybercrime Center, cybercriminals can now access ATMs through banking networks.


The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) releases its second global cybersecurity index revealing that about 38 percent of countries have a published cybersecurity strategy and 12 percent of governments are on the process of having one. In addition, the Global Commission on Cyberspace Stability is seeking to develop a definition of "critical infrastructure" to protect against cyberattacks.

In the United States, President Donald Trump has extended the previous President Barack Obama's decree that sanctions must be imposed on individuals and organizations engaged in cyberattacks and significant cybercrime. In addition, the decision of the Secretary of State to close the Office of the Coordinator of Cybernetic Affairs of the State Department and to entrust his responsibilities to the Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs is causing many criticisms.

In Europe, Europol calls for new legislation to combat cybercrime at the end of a 12-month period that has seen the scale, rate and spread of piracy activity reach unprecedented levels. The European Commission issues a new set of cyber security policy proposals aimed at strengthening the powers of the existing ENISA security agency that could become a Pan-European Cybersecurity Agency to strengthen the EU's capabilities. Moreover, the European Aviation Safety Agency tackles the potential threats hackers pose to air traffic while Poland agrees to test a pilot cybersecurity program for the aviation sector.

In Africa, the African Union Commission, in partnership with the Internet Society, unveils a set of guidelines on the security of the Internet infrastructure, which should change the way in which the States of the Union address the issue of cybersecurity.

In China, the new cybersecurity law came into effect on June 1, 2017. In the same vein, China reveals that it will create a database of cyberattacks at the national level and will require that telecom companies, businesses Internet and domain name providers report any threat in this regard.

Mamadou LO


ICANN fellow coach

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