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U.S. Penalties Rewrite Russia’s Cyberespionage Rules

U.S. Penalties Rewrite Russia’s Cyberespionage Rules


Some cyberpolitics critics see Biden’s sanctions in terms of more cynical spying on SolarWinds: the response is inconsistent, a generational response designed to satisfy anyone who would accuse the administration of being gentle with Russia. “This is not an attempt to correct Russia’s behavior,” says Dmitry Alperovitch, a former deputy director of security company CrowdStrike and founder of the Silverado Policy Accelerator focused on cybersecurity. “This makes us feel more, when we’re going backwards and especially for the home audience, in fact.”

According to Alperovich, punishing the Kremlin for careful cyberspace — and linking it to a large collection of much worse acts — makes it even more difficult to control the Kremlin. “I am not against the hammer of Russia,” says Alperovich. “But it would be much more effective if we focused on one or two things that we really think about, if we correct that behavior if we tell them that those penalties will go down. That way you will get the effects or at least the chance to get the effects. That’s not it.”

However, administration officials have argued that espionage can also exceed limits, especially at this scale. “Somehow the rule is not new, although it may be new to cyberactivity,” says J. Michael Daniel, president of the Cyber ​​Threat Alliance and former Obama White House cyber coordinator. “Recognizing that every state spies doesn’t mean you don’t respond when those activities become too big and foolish.”

Former President Donald Trump’s home security adviser Tom Bossert echoes that view, saying he would have taken similar steps to punish Russia if his mandate had been extended to the SolarWinds campaign. In his view, he is under the same anti-hacking rule that he wanted to impose “no discrimination and proportionality”. sanctions in response to Russia’s NotPetya cyberattack In 2017, which caused $ 10,000 billion in damage worldwide. Leaving SolarWinds unanswered, Bossert says, “It would be like Japanese planes flying around Pearl Harbor and we’re all sitting around, ‘Well, I’m sure and I’m sure it’s just an espionage effort. They’re up there taking pictures,” he says. “Right now, Japanese planes are not above Pearl Harbor, above New York, Washington, DC, Indiana and LA, leaving companies and agencies in jeopardy.”

So many Biden administration officials said on Thursday that the level of access to SolarWinds hackers could affect their destructive power as the main factor in their response. “It’s worrying that from that platform, from the wide scale of access they’ve gotten, there’s a chance to do other things, and we can’t stand that,” NSA cybersecurity director Rob Joyce said in a call with reporters Thursday. . “And that’s why the U.S. government is setting costs and going backwards.

Criticism of the administration’s response has indicated that although SVR may have used SolarWinds hacking to make a huge disruption, it has not. “You don’t have to hammer someone because they could,” says Alperovich. “You look at what they really did.”

The White House, however, is likely to prosecute Russia as well has made, says Chesney of the University of Texas. NotPetya’s attack also used software supply chain hacking to spread destructive malware, making it one of the most beloved cyberattacks in history. The Russian military intelligence agency GRU carried out NotPetya, a rather careful and secretive SVR. But this distinction may be less important than the similarities of the methods used. “Russia is seen as a team,” Chesney says. “One of the children in the group burned the permit. And now they’ve all been punished for it. “


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