USA intelligence report highlights global cyber threat
A new report released by the USA’s Office of the Director of the National Intelligence has highlighted cyber as a key threat to the country’s 2020 presidential election. The annual Worldwide Threat Assessment report, launched by the umbrella organisation that coordinates all of the USA’s intelligence agencies, identified that both China and Russia have developed sophisticated cyber capabilities.
It claimed that these capabilities could be used to “manipulate or disrupt election systems,” and even shut down critical national infrastructures, including power and energy companies. The report follows years of sustained, state-sponsored cyber-attacks against the USA and parliamentary democracies worldwide.
Ollie Whitehouse, Global Chief Technical Officer at NCC Group, commented: “The report lists cyber as the USA’s top global threat, suggesting that the country’s fears around foreign interference in domestic elections has reached a peak. The USA has continually been targeted since Chinese hackers hit the Obama campaign in 2008, but the report is also indicative of a growing trend of threat actors targeting democracies around the world with a variety of attack methods.
“Many countries, including the USA, have responded by enhancing their offensive cyber capabilities, and we expect more to follow suit as political tensions increase throughout 2019. As this trend continues, its vital that open stakeholders worldwide are continually educated on addressing cyber threats, and that open dialogue is maintained across borders to mitigate the risk of a life-threatening cyber attack.”