US Intel Chief Warns Cyber Attacks are at Critical Point

first_imgStay on target Days before Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki, the U.S. intelligence director branded Russia the most “aggressive foreign actor” in the cyberwar against America.Speaking at a Friday event in Washington, D.C., Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats echoed former CIA head George Tenet who, ahead of the Sept. 11 attacks, had cautioned that the “system was blinking red.”“The warning signs are there. The system is blinking,” Coats told an audience at the Hudson Institute, as reported by CBS News. “And it is why I believe we are at a critical point.”There is “no question” that Russia is the “most aggressive foreign actor,” he said, citing its ongoing efforts to undermine American democracy.Coats’ raising of the alarm about Kremlin-based threats came on the same day special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian spies for their role in hacking the 2016 presidential election (among other cybercrimes).The Office of the Director of National Intelligence in early 2017 stated that Putin “ordered an influence campaign” to discredit then-candidate Hillary Clinton, and “undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process.”The crusade extended across social media, where fake accounts on Facebook and Twitter, discussion boards, online newspapers, and video hosting accounts may have duped impressionable users.But this isn’t the US’s first cyber rodeo: Earlier this year, the Trump administration blamed Russia for a series of hacks targeting American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems.The US, of course, has launched similar attacks, though generally more targeted and to a lesser extent. The Stuxnet virus, for example, emerged in 2010 as a cyber weapon jointly developed by U.S. and Israeli officials in an effort to shut down the development of Iran’s nuclear program.All the rage these days, cyber weapons—malware employed for military or intelligence purposes, able to identify and engage targets without human intervention—pose a huge threat to everyday life.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. U.S. Newspapers Stymied By Cyber AttackUS Intelligence Has Known Russian Hackers Infiltrated Power Grids last_img read more