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America must respond to cyber attacks and prepare for another

An article in the American Wall Street Journal stated that the recent cyber attack on the country constitutes an opportunity to enhance the cyber defense capabilities of the US government, work to deter aggressor countries and prepare for possible future attacks.

Writer Mike Rogers says – in an article published by the newspaper – that this hack, known as the attack of “Solar Winds” (an American technology company), may be the largest electronic piracy incident in the history of the United States, as Russian intelligence penetrated US government networks for about 10 months without ever being Discover it.

He adds that it is currently difficult to determine the extent of the damage from this attack, because it is not surprising that other government agencies and private companies discovered that they were also victims of the hack.

The company “Solar Windows” that was attacked, says that it has more than 300 thousand customers, including 400 companies classified, and all of these companies may be victims of the hacking process.

According to the author, such intelligence attacks that aim to collect as much data and information as possible are not strange, but what raises Americans’ fears is that the Russians managed to penetrate the White House, and may plant malware or false data or completely destroy the systems.

Shutting down the compromised systems and canceling the “Solar Windows” program does not seem sufficient to contain the situation, as it may take years to finally thwart these attacks, according to the author.

On the other hand, the attackers and the governments behind them are waiting to know how the United States will respond to the breaches. In the absence of any strong reaction from the US administration, the writer believes that Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Pyongyang and the cyber piracy gangs see at the present time that there is no price to be paid in exchange for penetrating US government agencies.

The American response

The writer believes that the United States needs to respond to the attacks in a smart and thoughtful way, as turning off the lights in Moscow or hacking into computers at the Russian Foreign Intelligence Agency would not be an appropriate method of response.

But at the same time, if the United States does not define red lines and prove that there are consequences for overcoming them, then it will be the victim of more cyber attacks that may be worse than the current attack.

The writer believes that the United States needs to unify the efforts of its agencies to uncover the extent of the breach, and put an end to the dispersion of its federal electronic system, as there was no previous office or agency in the White House charged with managing cybersecurity.

Then the next administration – according to the newspaper’s article – must appoint a director of cybersecurity according to the recently approved National Defense Authorization Act, as the United States can no longer bear the presence of dozens of offices and agencies that manage the cyber security policies and budgets of the federal government.

The author concludes that the government cannot do this alone. Rather, it needs to cooperate with the private sector to enhance its capabilities in the field of cybersecurity, especially since the attacks targeted government agencies and private companies at the same time.

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