Donald Trump Vows 'Crippling Counter-Cyberattacks'
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has seized upon cybersecurity as a fresh rallying cry in the campaign against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
“To truly make America safe, we truly have to make cybersecurity a major priority,” the candidate said at an event in Virginia hosted by Retired American Warriors (RAWPAC). He added that would be an “immediate and top priority for my administration.”
He added, “The United States must possess unquestioned capacity to launch crippling counter-cyberattacks,” he said. “This is the warfare of the future…America’s dominance in this arena must be unquestioned and today, it’s totally questioned.”
Trump said he would order a “thorough review of cyber-defenses and weaknesses” and cited the rise of state -sponsored bad actors: “China, Russia and North Korea constitute one of our most critical national security concerns.”
After referencing the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breach, among others, he said, “Attacks like these are happening on a regular basis both in the United States and around the world,” Trump said. “I will make certain that our military is the best in the world—in cyber offense and defense—and in every other way, by the way, every other way.”
The tack is a direction change from what he said during the debate at Hofstra University against Clinton. Then, he questioned Russia as the motivator behind the Democratic National Committee, despite the fact that the FBI and other US officials believe the country to be behind that attack and others.
“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC,” he said at the time. “She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t—maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?”
In response to the new, aggressive message, security experts urged caution when thinking about cyber-offense.
“To defend against somebody and to launch ‘crippling counter-cyberattacks’, we better be sure who this somebody is,” said Igor Baikalov, chief scientist for Securonix. “Attribution remains the most difficult aspect of the cyber warfare. The chances of hitting an innocent bystander who was set up for a fall by the more sophisticated adversary are too great to dismiss as a collateral damage.”
He added, “The need for accurate attribution will lead to increased traffic monitoring and surveillance both at the infrastructure and the endpoint levels. Prepare to see a significant increase of the NSA budget.”
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Source: Information Security Magazine