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The Cyber Threat: Congress should investigate failed Obama cyber policies and Russian hacking

The Cyber Threat: Congress should investigate failed Obama cyber policies and Russian hacking

By Bill Gertz 
  President Obama, under pressure from Congress, has directed U.S. intelligence agencies to conduct a deep-dive inquiry into Russian cyber attacks and their impact on the 2016 presidential election and to provide the results before Inauguration Day. 
  Any intelligence review should coincide with a companion investigation by Congress into why the president and his White House advisers for the past eight years rejected numerous calls from military, intelligence, and national security advisers to take aggressive action against states like Russia and China—action that could have prevented the kind…

The Cyber Threat: Dyn cyber attack highlights Internet of Things hacking

The Cyber Threat: Dyn cyber attack highlights Internet of Things hacking

By Bill Gertz 
  A major cyber attack that disrupted Internet service for major users like Twitter and Amazon in parts of the United States on Friday was the first robot-based digital assault using the Internet of Things—millions of linked devices operating in concert. 
  The bad news from the outage is that cyber security analysts are predicting the cyber attack was likely first of many large-scale “distributed denial of service” cyber attacks, or DDoS—strikes that target internet service rather than seek to steal data. 
  Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told…

The Cyber Threat: Snowden — ultimate insider threat missed by NSA security

The Cyber Threat: Snowden — ultimate insider threat missed by NSA security

By Bill Gertz 
 
Security officials today use the politically correct term “insider threat” to describe what were once called traitors, and no one was more aggressive in pursuing them than counterintelligence types at the National Security Agency. 
  Thus many intelligence officials saw more than a tinge of irony in NSA contractor Edward Snowden making off with 1.5 million highly classified NSA intelligence documents in May 2013 and handing them over to several anti-American journalists who seemed more interested in inflicting as much damage as possible on America’s premier electronic…

The Cyber Threat: iPhone software targeted in government-linked hack

The Cyber Threat: iPhone software targeted in government-linked hack

By Bill Gertz
 
Years ago during lunch with a recently-retired National Security Agency cyber security official, I immediately noticed the former official’s iPhone as he placed it on the table next to his fork. Wow, I thought, if an NSA electronic spook is using an iPhone, those babies must be secure. Days later I traded in my cell phone for an iPhone and have been using them ever since.
 
I endured Apple’s proprietary restrictions, like the inability to change batteries, a company tactic that forces customers to buy…

The Cyber Threat: Obama’s green policies threaten America’s energy security

The Cyber Threat: Obama’s green policies threaten America’s energy security

By Bill Gertz 
  The threat of a devastating cyber attack on the U.S. electrical grid is increasing due to the Obama administration’s politically correct policies that spend vast sums on green and smart grid technologies while failing to secure power grids from cyber attack. 
 
A report by the Manhattan Institute, a New York think tank, warns that the push to integrate wind and solar electrical power into the $6 trillion electric utility system has created new vulnerabilities that other nations could exploit in a future cyber war. 
 
“Electric…

The Cyber Threat: Russian hackers behind DNC breach seeking to influence U.S. election

The Cyber Threat: Russian hackers behind DNC breach seeking to influence U.S. election

By Bill Gertz 
  Cyber actors linked to Russia’s intelligence service carried out a sophisticated cyber attack against Democratic National Committee computer networks in a bold attempt to influence the U.S. presidential election. 
  That’s the consensus view of U.S. intelligence agencies and private computer security firms regarding the covert intrusions by Moscow into DNC networks over the course of at least one year that resulted in the theft and release of sensitive internal information. 
  As with other state-sponsored cyber attacks, the White House is refusing to condemn the incident or take…

The Cyber Threat: Cybercom Trains for Infrastructure Attack as Power Companies Play Down Threat to Grid

The Cyber Threat: Cybercom Trains for Infrastructure Attack as Power Companies Play Down Threat to Grid

By Bill Gertz
The U.S. Cyber Command will conduct large-scale military exercises this week simulating cyber attacks against critical U.S. infrastructure, and the war games will highlight the growing threat posed by foreign states capable of crippling the electrical grid and financial networks through digital attacks.
The exercise, known as Cyber Guard 16, is the latest annual war game involving scores of military personnel and civilians at the Fort Meade-based command. Other players will include officials from the Pentagon, FBI, Homeland Security Department, and private industry.
“Cyber Guard offers a…

The Cyber Threat: China, Russia Undeterred by Weak Obama Cyber Security Policy

The Cyber Threat: China, Russia Undeterred by Weak Obama Cyber Security Policy

By Bill Gertz 
  The Obama administration policy of avoiding assertive action against foreign hackers came under fire from Congress last week, and is raising concerns that the White House is failing to protect the country from large-scale cyber attacks. 
  Christopher Painter, the State Department’s coordinator for cyber security, defended the administration’s strategy for deterring massive data breaches, like China’s pilfering of sensitive personnel records on 22 million federal workers, known as “deterrence by denial.” 
  This strategy bears no relationship to the strategic doctrine of deterring foreign nuclear attacks by threatening…

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