Reimagining cyber conflict. Prospects of a tech Cold War. | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack

At a glance.

  • Reminagining conflict in cyberspace.
  • Prospects of a tech Cold War.

Reimagining conflict?

Looking forward to yesterday’s Senate nomination hearing for prospective National Cyber Director Chris Inglis, Senator Angus King (Independent of Maine) said the US needs to “reimagine conflict,” Breaking Defense reports. He urged whoever fills the new position to prioritize the following tasks:

  • “create a ‘declarative policy’ clearly telling adversaries what they risk should they launch cyberattacks”
  • “convene a public-private cyber summit to improve partnerships”
  • “establish ways to communicate cyber issues effectively”
  • “address ‘gaps’ in US cyber defenses”

One outstanding question is how the National Cyber Director will mesh with extant cyber functions spread across the FBI, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, White House, and industry. Prospective CISA Director Jen Easterly at yesterday’s hearing characterized CISA as the “quarterback” and the Director as the “coach,” according to MeriTalk. 

However the new position shapes up, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia tells Bloomberg the country “can’t play goalie all the time” and must “impose risk” on threat actors through technological, diplomatic, and economic means. He hopes Washington and Moscow reach “an arrangement” at next week’s summit that reigns in ransomware. Since criminals follow capital, spies follow information, combatants follow command and control centers, and each of these assets is now online, future conflicts and wars will all have “a cyber component,” and the nation needs to be prepared.

The Washington Post expects Inglis’ confirmation to go off without a hitch, “as the government lurches from one cyber crisis to the next.” 

Tech Cold War?

Foreign Affairs worries about a looming technological “Cold War” with Beijing. President Trump’s Sino-strategy hinged on “restricting the flow of technology to China, restructuring global supply chains, and investing in emerging technologies at home,” and China responded by “racing to develop semiconductors and other core technologies…mobilizing tech companies, tightening links to the countries participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and sustaining a campaign of cyber-industrial espionage.”

Japan Today describes a blossoming security alliance between Canberra and Tokyo against the backdrop of Beijing’s rise, violence in Myanmar, and North Korea’s nuclear regime. In virtual talks, Japan agreed to defend Australia’s forces while those forces are working towards Japan’s defense through efforts like joint drills and ballistic missile intel-gathering.

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