USA director of national intelligence James Clapper has said the U.S. government has yet to figure out exactly who was behind a devastating attack on its government employee vetting department earlier this year.
The Central Intelligence Agency pulled a number of officers from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing as a precautionary measure in the wake of the massive cybertheft of the personal data of federal employees, current and former USA officials said.
While the “common understanding” reached between the USA and China during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit last week shows progress, many have cast doubt on the impact it will really have in protecting the U.S.in the ever-changing cyberspace landscape.
China is not the only country to conduct these types of attacks, though it has acted on a much larger scale.
Is this where we live?
Every month, it seems, a mammoth cyberattack sponsored by a nation state comes to light. In recent years, more than 20 countries have announced their intent to launch or beef up their offensive cyber capabilities. The result is a burgeoning digital arms race that presents a major threat to the security of our data.
But they are very late to the game…
The hackers who stole security dossiers from the Office of Personal Management also got the fingerprints of 5.6 million US federal employees.
US intelligence agencies have blamed China for the hacking against the office, which is the main custodian of the government’s most important personnel records, but it is unclear what group or organization engineered it. Before Wednesday, the agency had said it lost 1.1 million sets of fingerprints among the roughly 22 million individuals whose records were compromised.
The United States may still be the world’s preeminent superpower, based on size and reach of military and intelligence operations, but defending the virtual borders of cyberspace is another matter. Cyber attacks by foreign nations and their agents are on the rise, and this new form of conflict doesn’t fit easily into the existing paradigms of how to wage, or win, a global war.
Two news stories out this week highlight just how weak the Obama administration’s policy toward China remains. A month after the Office of Personnel Management cyberattack, in which up to 25 million (and maybe more) Americans had their information stolen, including fingerprints, financial history, and other sensitive data, the White House has formally decided not to publicly blame China for the attack.
This is despite apparently overwhelming evidence that hackers from China were behind the devastating breach, the worst penetration to date (as far as we know) of U.S. government information. Worse, according to the news reports, is that China will get off scot-free, as the administration quails from retaliating in any way. In fact, the White House went ahead and held the annual…
Three major American corporations suffered technical difficulties at the same time, in what Wired has called a cyber armageddon.
The New York Stock Exchange claimed the problem that caused a halt to stock trading for more than three hours was an “internal technical issue” and “not the result of a cyber breach,” while the Department of Homeland Security told CNN there is “no sign of malicious activity” at the NYSE, or in the earlier outage experienced by United Airlines.
Security experts, including the controversial McAfee expert and an anonymous “Intel analyst,” however, are not so sure.
John McAfee published an article on SiliconANGLE detailing his suspicions and surface research, arguing that:
“To determine whether a system as large as the one used by the NYSE has been hacked or not, cannot possibly be determined in a matter of hours. Every programmer, every systems engineer and every employee of an IT department in the world understands…”