Comment: US cybersecurity posture is not purely defensive

NSA headquartersBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | |
In recent years, news coverage of cyberespionage and cybersecurity has increased several times over; both subjects have escaped the narrow confines of technical literature and have entered the broad expanses of popular news media. This blog is no exception; since 2008, we have covered both cybersecurity and cyberespionage at length. In looking back at our coverage, it takes but a cursory glance to conclude that most of our reports feature the names of two countries: China and –to a far lesser extent– Russia. Moreover, the vast majority of our cybersecurity and cyberespionage coverage portrays the United States as a defensive actor, trying desperately to protect the integrity of its networks from foreign hackers. But is this accurate? How realistic is it to assume that the US, the world’s leading military power, abstains from offensive cyberespionage as a matter of strategy? The most likely answer is: not very. The problem is that much of the reporting on cybersecurity is based on national allegiances. Many American media pundits thus tend to forget that Washington, too, conducts cyberespionage. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0208

  • Georgia denies entry to Russian ‘spies’. Georgia has denied entry to a delegation of Russian scholars from the Russian State Archive and the Center for Caucasian Research at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. It’s the second time this year that the Georgians have accused Russian researchers of being spies.
  • US monitors China’s hiring of foreign journalists. A report by the Open Source Center of the US Directorate of National Intelligence notes that China has been hiring a growing number of foreign reporters to serve as overseas correspondents.
  • Audio interview with NSA’s information assurance director. Dickie George, technical director of information assurance at the US National Security Agency, has given a rare audio interview to GovInfo Security. The first part of the interview is available here. The second part will be posted in a few days.

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