Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats: U.S. Under Attack from Cyber Sources

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The Director of National Intelligence, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, said that the U.S. remains under Cyber attack and that the attacks are continuous.  “Frankly, the United States is under attack.  Under attack by entities that are using cyber to penetrate virtually every major action that takes place in the United States,” Dan Coats said.

Coats said that from government to the private sector, the U.S. is threatened by cyber attacks every day.  And that our elections are being used as an opportunity to “sow discord and undermine our values.”  Coats pointed to Russia, China and Iran as being the largest cybersecurity threats the U.S. faces, and added that Russia is likely to pursue “more aggressive attacks with [the] intent to degrade Democratic values.”

Coats said that Russia’s use of social media as a means to sow discord was relatively “cheap and low risk,” gave it “plausible deniability,” and has proven effective.  Russia will “continue using propaganda, social media, false flag personas and sympathetic spokesmen to build on its wide range of operations and exacerbate social and political issues in the U.S.”

CIA Director Mike Pompeo also testified that intelligence officials have yet to see a “significant decrease” in Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections and social and political debate in the U.S.  Coats, Pompeo, FBI Director Christopher Wray and others are testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee about worldwide threats the U.S. faces.

 

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