Cybersecurity Round-Up: U.S. Confronts Top Cyber Adversaries

Cybersecurity

The U.S. has been in talks with two of its biggest cyber adversaries, according to reports.

White House cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel and coordinator for cyber issues Christopher Painter met last week with Russian officials to discuss cybersecurity, The Moscow Times reported.

Thought to be the culprit of sophisticated cyber attacks and cyber espionage to steal critical information, Russia has been on the U.S.’ list of top cyber threats for a number of years.

In the meetings held last week, leaders from the two nations reportedly talked about alleviating their cyber issues in an effort to reach an agreement on “unified cybersafety,” the Times article noted.

While it’s unclear whether Daniel and Painter walked away from the talks with Russia on new cyber terms, U.S. military officials have made headway with the country’s other major cyber adversary: China.

According to The New York Times, military officials from both the U.S. and China met late last month for what became “their highest-level military talks in nearly two years.”

During the discussion, a top Chinese general, Fang Fenghui, pledged to work with U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to address cybersecurity issues between the two countries, adding that a nation state-sponsored cyber attack “may be as serious as a nuclear bomb.”

While Gen. Fang’s comments were met with criticism, as many in the cyber world said cyberwar would be as damaging as that in the nuclear space, the general went on to add that China’s work with the U.S. would be a process and that changes would not happen overnight.

Meanwhile, the Department of Defense may soon be adding another country to its list of top cyber incident instigators.

Amidst rising tensions, a new report released by the Pentagon suggests North Korea may be bolstering its cyber attack capabilities.

According the report, enhancing its efforts in cyberspace could provide “a cost-effective way to modernize some North Korean military capabilities.”

The Pentagon added that the reclusive nation could view hacking into foreign networks as an “appealing platform from which to collect intelligence.”

Michelle Kincaid is a DC-based public affairs professional specializing in technology policy. She is creator of the blog CybersecurityNews.org.

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