US Preparing for Retaliation against Russia, as it Confronts Hacking claims by China
The growing threat of cyber-attacks poses a significant challenge for Biden’s Administration.
In 2019, Russia carried out several unauthorized hacking attacks against US agencies. This time, China is the new enemy, even before the government launched its retaliatory attacks against Russia.
Biden’s response to the huge claims will be considered a barometer of how his administration will fare on the issue. In the case of Russia, the government is committed to taking very decisive actions against Russian networks that have been found to be suspicious. The government might also consider imposing economic sanctions that will act as a security tool against future incidents.
The urgency of the situation has been heightened by a major breach of Microsoft email networks. This hack was reportedly carried out by Chinese hackers who were later revealed as being state-sponsored. Patching was also used by other Chinese hacking parties, according to Microsoft. The violation was announced this week by authorities.
The government, on the other hand, has made no official public statements about who the perpetrator is. The breaches were classified as spying and identity theft, with the potential to steal sensitive information. The White House, on the other hand, downplayed the gravity of the situation, claiming that it is not as serious as it seems. The exercise is being led by Anne Neuberger.
Mr. Sullivan said in a recent interview that both private and public sanctions will be used against Russia. Mr. Sullivan claims that Biden’s administration is aware of the situation and is developing plans to address it.
The military has also been enlisted to provide advice to the White House about how to deal with cyber-attacks. It is feared that the retaliatory attacks may escalate the conflict between the USA and Russia even as it seeks to conduct drone strikes in zones that are out of war scope.
President Donald Trump signed a classified agreement in August 2018 that contained cyber orders for the government to follow. According to the new order, the Cyber Command will review the operations with the White House and the N.S.C. (National Security Council). Russia’s and China’s activities may fall into this category.
The officials are yet to unravel the whole state of the damage, but the damages seem to be harsh. Christopher Kebs in an interview noted that the hack was huge and it is estimated that more than 30,000 systems were affected. Majority of the systems used Microsoft software.
The scope of the hacks has yet to be determined, but authorities believe China targeted a few networks where they believed the knowledge would be useful to them. As a result, it is unclear if the US would retaliate against China in the same way that it is retaliating against Russia. A retaliatory attack would exacerbate current tensions between the two countries. The situation is similar to that of Russia.
Knowing that the United States forbids intrusion into such networks, Chinese hackers conducted attacks against Microsoft applications. Surprisingly, neither the Russian nor the Chinese attacks were detected by the authorities until a private company issued concerns of an attack.
The current debate takes place during Obama’s presidency, when a series of related cyber-attacks occurred. Mr. Sullivan served as Vice President Joe Biden’s security advisor. In 2014, another Chinese attack resulted in the loss of 2.5 million security clearance documents, this time during Obama’s presidency.
Russian hackers are also accused of influencing the 2016 presidential election in support of President Trump. Mr. Sullivan also stated that enforcing sanctions is ineffective when dealing with influential countries such as Russia and China. Strong responses result in an increase in such attacks, which is a source of concern for American authorities.
According to American authorities, the SolarWinds attack was merely a data theft. Other parties, on the other hand, argue that the attack’s magnitude and scope indicated Russia may have had more sinister motives. Significant hacking was carried out during the 2016 general elections. Recent attacks, on the other hand, seem to have used more complex and advanced methods, as they did not even include passwords to gain access to the networks.
Similar incidents occurred in China in 2017, with the bulk of the hacking occurring as a result of email-phishing campaigns. Cyber activities are supervised by China’s premier intelligence agency and the Ministry of State Security.
China has been accused of using zero-day cyber assaults. In the year 2019, researchers in the country discovered zero-day attacks on Microsoft attacks. The hackers took advantage of a software flaw that allowed them to spy on a website that provided extensive details on ethnic persecution.
Beijing took advantage of their access to track visitors’ communications. The Microsoft email and system attacks exploited Zero-day vulnerabilities, which show that more than 30,000 agencies and organizations were affected. Brian Krebs noted this, but there are claims that the numbers could be higher.