Attacks show need for better cybersecurity



August 22, 2018 - 10:42 AM

Perhaps now that Republicans are in the crosshairs of Russian hackers, the Trump administration will find the nerve to call out Vladimir Putin and his goons.
In a recent report, Microsoft Corporation said it had identified Russian hackers as infiltrating the websites of conservative leaning organizations in an effort to discredit their pro-democracy messaging.
An offshoot of the Russian military GRU, the hackers have reworked the websites of the right leaning Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute in an effort to mislead users in order to steal their passwords and other confidential information as well as promulgate false messaging.
These two think tanks were targeted because they are known to oppose President Trump’s sycophantic relationship with Putin for fear it will undermine U.S. democracy.
Microsoft’s discovery is proof that Russia is out to sew discord among any and all it views as a threat to its quest for dominion.
IF ONLY the Trump administration would see it as such. Unfortunately, on Sunday, John Bolton, national security adviser, said Russia “could” be culpable, but then again China, North Korea and Iran are also likely candidates.
Such equivocation reminds us of the hesitancy on the part of President Trump to call out white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers in the aftermath of the Charlottesville protests.
Why does President Trump refuse to call out evil?
THE RED LIGHT is blinking in terms of cybersecurity threats and the less we address the issue the more the country is put at risk.
Already, it’s been determined that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election by tapping into the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee to collect intelligence and flooding Facebook with propaganda.
Their next step, as well as those of other enemies of the United States, is to covertly disseminate crafty messaging meant to foment discord among middle class Americans.
More concrete threats of cyberwar exist, including those to our military and commerce. According to the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs, U.S. losses from intellectual property theft to China range from $225 to $600 billion per year. Militarily, the country is at risk of cyber attacks to its electrical grid, essential to its military bases, as well as its hospitals and critical supply chains, not to mention interfering with military communications.
DRAWING A LINE in the sand against hackers is not enough. Consequences such as economic sanctions, diplomatic and military pressure, are imperative. Better yet is the United States fully committing to cyber-defense pacts with our international allies to prevent insurgent attacks and with state and local authorities to ensure our electrical grid and emergency services remain safe.
Better cybersecurity measures are essential because of the ever-increasing role the internet continues to play in our lives today. The need will only grow.
— Susan Lynn


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