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Cyber-attacks by enemy governments.

Cyber-attacks by enemy governments.

Last week in my blog I discussed the widespread cyber attacks on US businesses and healthcare institutions being perpetrated by hostile foreign governments.  I believe this is a failure of the US government to meet its obligation to protect and defend Americans from foreign adversaries.  Why is our federal government failing?  I have a few theories. 

Our federal government faces a myriad of complex challenges.  Their job is not an easy one even though we usually want to see issues as simple.  But they demonstrate great difficulty working together to solve problems.  Further, they vastly under-allocate time and effort to issue which are not partisan, fund-raising talking points.  Consider the recent Congressional hearings involving leaders of technology giants like Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook.  Nowhere in those hearings did Congress inquire about cyber-security or protecting against foreign state cyber-criminals.  Instead, Congress focused entirely on political speech using technology platforms and anti-trust issues.  Those issues are important. But federal effort is placing serious cyber-security threats from abroad at a level that is far too low. 

A second problem is the military.  While they possess the technological capabilities to halt the foreign attacks, they are in fact oriented primarily toward traditional war fought on ground, sea and air.  Cyber attacks by foreign military and intelligence is the modern form of guerrilla warfare, and like any guerilla warfare, traditional armies have trouble adjusting. 

I believe a third cause of the inaction at a federal level is the age of our leaders and how that informs their narrative on technology.  The age of arguably the seven most powerful people in Washington averages 75.  These are all smart people.  But you and I both know they stand virtually no chance of understanding the cyber-security issues facing America.  

America’s businesses and healthcare institutions are under aggressive attack from Russian and other foreign state actors.  It’s time for the American government to step up and help. 

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Chris Hetherton | Nov 13th 2020 @ 3:04 PM


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