Russia’s cyber attacks against the United States have run their course. Their ultimate miscalculation might be in their attempt to influence U.S. politics.
In a recent interview, Vice President Joe Biden stated that the United States was going to retaliate to the recent onslaught of Russian cyber aggression. He mentioned it would be done at a time of their choosing, but the impact would be felt by the Russian leadership. The recent exposure of Russian hacks and cyber attacks have been obfuscated by presidential politics in the current campaign. However, as the campaign is coming to a close, a serious view of the Russian involvement is forming. The bottom line is that the current trend of Russian behavior is unacceptable to the United States. A more firm stance might be adopted in the coming years as we face yet another Russian reset in Foreign Policy.
The ‘reset’ button then Secretary of State of Hillary Clinton offered to Russian Minister Lavrov is as relevant now as it was then. Because it does look to be likely Hillary Clinton is the next POTUS – and we’re about to update our feelings toward Russia. By way of foreign policy and open rhetoric that update will be followed with actions. The outcome is difficult to predict with accuracy like anything else. But, Russia doesn’t have the upper hand in the grand scheme. Yes, they’re asserting themselves and proving that they’re an object that is tough to move. But – they won’t be able to maintain this pace. They’re acutely aware that we’re approaching a change of power in D.C. They have precious little time to act amid the confusion that comes with a national level election.
Do you remember when the Internet went out throughout North Korea? It was shortly after a hack on Sony. It was connected to the film “The Interview.” There was a supposed cyber attack originating from North Korea. Then, soon after – North Korea was quiet. The Wikipedia page describing the attack is here. U.S. involvement in the attack that brought down North Korean internet is not openly acknowledged. Whether it was the U.S. government or Sony who paid cyber mercenaries is unknown. If you think the NSA is unable to best, the Russian rogue cyber attacks consider what occurred with North Korea. Also, the revelations of Edward Snowden cast a huge shadow over the world now looming in fear of U.S. government cyber and electronic warfare capabilities. The NSA was able to pin down the Sony attack to North Korea because they were previously penetrated by the NSA, according to the New York Times and released documents.
“The trail that led American officials to blame North Korea for the destructive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November winds back to 2010 when the National Security Agency scrambled to break into the computer systems of a country considered one of the most impenetrable targets on earth.
Spurred by growing concern about North Korea’s maturing capabilities, the American spy agency drilled into the Chinese networks that connect North Korea to the outside world, picked through connections in Malaysia favored by North Korean hackers and penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other American allies, according to former United States and foreign officials, computer experts later briefed on the operations and a newly disclosed N.S.A. document.”
The New York Times article went to describe the U.S. effort, as well as some insight into the North Korean cyber infrastructure:
A classified security agency program expanded into an ambitious effort, officials said, to place malware that could track the internal workings of many of the computers and networks used by the North’s hackers, a force that South Korea’s military recently said numbers roughly 6,000 people. Most are commanded by the country’s central intelligence service, called the Reconnaissance General Bureau, and Bureau 121, its secretive hacking unit, with a large outpost in China.”
We already know that a similar program has been enacted to counter the Russian cyber threat. Because the “CIA is prepping for a cyber attack against Russia.” Mixed with the Vice President’s statement, the work is of course underway. Whenever they’re ready and whenever they choose, cyber warfare will commence. I wonder if they’ll target the rogue cyber belligerents themselves and begin to downgrade’s Russia’s capabilities via their proxy cyber warriors. It’s unknown whether or not this is approached as targeted strikes to shake their cyber infrastructure – or a prolonged and more open-ended Cyber War against the Russians.
Featured image courtesy of America Talks.