Cyber Threat Warnings ‘Blinking Red’

Warning lights about cyber threats to US national security are “blinking red” and the digital attempts to undermine America are occurring daily, not just at election time, say US top intelligence officials. 

Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, but cyber threats also are coming from China, Iran and North Korea as well as criminal networks and individual hackers, said National Intelligence Director Dan Coats (pictured).

Targets include US businesses, the federal government, the military, state and local governments, academic and financial institutions and critical infrastructure, he said.

"The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, in coordination with international partners, have detected Russian government actors targeting government and businesses in the energy, nuclear, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sectors," Coats said.

He compared the cyber threat today with how US officials said before 9/11 that intelligence channels were "blinking red" with warning signs that a terror attack was imminent.

"Here we are nearly two decades later and I'm here to say the warning lights are blinking red again," Coats said.

Coats spoke at Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank, shortly after the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking into Democratic email accounts during the 2016 US presidential election and releasing stolen information in the months before Americans headed to the polls.

The Kremlin responded to the indictment by repeating its denial that the Russian state interfered in the US election.
Coats said that despite public statements by the Kremlin to the contrary, US intelligence officials continue to see individuals affiliated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), based in St. Petersburg, Russia, creating new social media accounts masqueraded as those of Americans. 

He said the IRA, a so-called Internet troll farm, then uses the fake accounts to drive attention to divisive issues in America.

"We are seeing aggressive attempts to manipulate social media and to spread propaganda focused on hot-button issues that are intended to exacerbate socio-political divisions," he said.

Coats said the US is not yet seeing the kind of electoral interference in specific states and voter databases that occurred in 2016. "However, we fully realise that we are just one click on a keyboard away from a similar situation repeating itself," he said.

He emphasised that focusing on possible election-related attacks, including during the November mid-terms, misses an important point. He also warned of the potential for a crippling cyber-attack against critical US infrastructure, a power outage in New England in January or a cyber-attack on banks that wipes out people’s life savings. 

“These actions are persistent. They’re pervasive and they are meant to undermine America’s democracy on a daily basis, regardless of whether it is election time or not,” Coats said.

Military Times

You Might Also Read: 

Russia Will Keep Up Cyber Attacks For Geo-Political Influence:

Ukraine Detects A Cyber Attack On A NATO Member:

 

« Cybersecurity Awareness & Compliance Training – That’s Bob’s Business
UK Launches Consultation To Develop Cybersecurity Profession »

Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

FREE eBook: Practical Guide To Optimizing Your Cloud Deployments

FREE eBook: Practical Guide To Optimizing Your Cloud Deployments

AWS Marketplace eBook: Optimizing your cloud deployments to accelerate cloud activities, reduce costs, and improve customer experience.

Syxsense

Syxsense

Syxsense brings together endpoint management and security for greater efficiency and collaboration between IT management and security teams.

Authentic8

Authentic8

Authentic8 transforms how organizations secure and control the use of the web with Silo, its patented cloud browser.

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

Cylance Smart Antivirus

Cylance Smart Antivirus

An antivirus that works smarter, not harder, from BlackBerry. Lightweight, non-intrusive protection powered by artificial intelligence. BUY NOW - LIMITED DISCOUNT OFFER.

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

Practice Labs

Practice Labs

Practice Labs is an IT competency hub, where live-lab environments give access to real equipment for hands-on practice of essential cybersecurity skills.

Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81 is a Zero Trust Network as a Service designed to simplify secure network, cloud and application access for the modern and distributed workforce.

Gamma

Gamma

Gamma provide a comprehensive range of next generation voice, data and mobile services including Managed Network Security and secure Mobile solutions.

TNS pay

TNS pay

TNS provides networking, managed connectivity, data communications and value added services

Core DataCloud

Core DataCloud

Core DataCloud specialise in cloud data storage backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Avanan

Avanan

Avanan is The Cloud Security Platform. Protect all your SaaS applications using tools from over 60 industry-leading vendors in just one click.

EuroISPA

EuroISPA

EuroISPA is a pan European association of European Internet Services Providers Associations and the world’s largest association of ISPs.

CyberGym

CyberGym

CyberGym is a global leader in cyber defense solutions and training services.

Pinnacle Placements

Pinnacle Placements

Pinnacle Placements is a premium executive search firm offering an ideal match for exceptional info security professionals and outstanding organizations of all types.

HARMAN International

HARMAN International

HARMAN designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide.

Black Cybersecurity Association (BCA)

Black Cybersecurity Association (BCA)

Black Cybersecurity Association is an inclusive non-profit organization focused on community, and career mentorship for underrepresented minorities in the cybersecurity industry.

Guardian Digital

Guardian Digital

Guardian Digital makes email safe for business. Threat-ready business email protection. Fully supported.