According to representatives at the Pentagon, the United States needs to start focusing on improving its ability to deter cyber-attacks on its networks.
The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that cyber threats to the United States national & economic security have seen an increase in frequency, scalability, sophistication, and severity.
Clapper stated that “Such malicious cyber activity will continue and probably accelerate until we establish and demonstrate the capability to deter malicious state-sponsored cyber activity.”
Clapper and other officials have also stated that they feel last week’s cyber agreement with China is ‘a good first step’, but it’s still unclear how effective the pact will be. He also noted that this agreement does not leave him feeling optimistic that this pact would eliminate Chinese cyber-attacks.
According to Work, three incidents- the breach of 21 million individuals records involving the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the attack on the unclassified network of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the attack on Sony Pictures- were all carried out by three separate countries.
The U.S. has publicly linked the Sony attack to North Korea but have only linked the OPM attack to China & the JCS attack to Russia based on the background.
Work added that the administration’s response would be ‘vigorous’ if another cyber-attack of that scale occurs again with links to China, with responses of economic sanctions & criminal indictments.