The United States has raised its evaluation of the cyberthreat from Russia, AP reported, citing a speech by the US director of national intelligence.
James Clapper, delivering an annual assessment by US intelligence agencies of the top dangers facing the country, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday: “While I can’t go into detail here, the Russian cyberthreat is more severe than we had previously assessed.”
The intelligence agencies once again listed cyberattacks as the top danger to national security, ahead of terrorism.
“Cyberthreats to US national and economic security are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication and severity of impact,” the written assessment said.
“Rather than a ‘Cyber Armageddon’ scenario that debilitates the entire US infrastructure, we envision something different. We foresee an ongoing series of low- to moderate-level cyberattacks from a variety of sources over time, which will impose cumulative costs on US economic competitiveness and national security.”
Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are the countries that pose the greatest cyberthreats, the intelligence assessment found.
Traditionally, China has been first on that list, but Russia is listed as No. 1 this year for the first time.
The assessment said Russia’s defense ministry is establishing its own cybercommand responsible for offensive activities, “including propaganda operations and inserting malware into enemy command and control systems”.
The US Cyber Command plans its own offensive operations, about which little is known.
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