Saturday, October 1, 2016

Can Fancy Bear Be Stopped? The Clear and Present Danger of Russian Info Ops

Joshua Fouts, "Can Fancy Bear Be Stopped? The Clear and Present Danger of Russian Info Ops,"; see also.

image from article

Russia is engaged in an unprecedented, sophisticated attack on the American political system. Defeating it won’t be easy.

Fancy Bear is at the heart of a network of websites backed by the Russian state, most likely a military intelligence unit, and is engaged in a sustained information operations campaign. ...
To put it as bluntly as possible: Russian intelligence is breaking into senior officials’ computers in an effort to manipulate a U.S. presidential election.
Yet, the response from the White House has been muted. One reason might be that the U.S. government is still unsure how to respond. I reached out to a half-dozen current and former officials responsible for both public diplomacy and cyber security. None of them expressed confidence in which agency should take the lead in responding to a massive effort to leak private correspondence heavily weighted toward one party in an election. There’s never been an attack on the process of an American election like this, and given its openly partisan nature (the leaks seem to primarily target Democrats) many officials are reluctant to be seen engaging in partisan activity by pushing back too hard against the Kremlin. ...
[N]o one seems to know how to respond to Russia employing the tools of cyberwarfare to further their information war. From a policy perspective, it is far from clear how to defend citizens and private organizations against a sophisticated attack on their private correspondence that will be used for a propaganda campaign during an election. ...

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