U.S. Seeks to Thwart Foreign Cyber Adversaries

Concerns about foreign hackers have been heightened since the 2016 presidential election, given that various U.S. intelligence agencies reported foreign Internet efforts to influence that election. And with mid-term Congressional elections coming up, those concerns have not abated. 

Meanwhile, the personal Gmail accounts of some U.S. Senators and Senate staff recently were targeted, as confirmed by a Google spokesperson to CNN. Indeed, CNN reports that Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has written a letter to Senate leadership stating that “at least one major technology company has informed a number of Senators and Senate staff members that their personal email accounts were targeted by foreign government hackers.”

Google has stated that it was the company referenced by Wyden, as reported by CNN. A Senate aide informed CNN that both Democrats and Republicans were targeted. Google did not tell CNN whether or not that hack was successful. Senator Wyden expressed “serious concern” that the Senate Sergeant of Arms does not possess the authority to safeguard senators and their staff from Internet attacks, as reported by CNN. This is important because the Senate Sergeant of Arms is tasked with overseeing Senate security.

It is in this context that the White House recently has authorized “offensive cyber operations” vis-a-vis US adversaries, according to the Washington Post. A new policy apparently is in place to ease up on rules relating to the use of digital weapons to protect the nation, as stated by National Security Adviser John Bolton and as reported by the Washington Post. Bolton reportedly stated that “our hands are not as tied as they were in the Obama administration.” ..Read More..

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