April 06, 2015

The importance of cyber offense: Sanctions are a good start

By Peter Harrell

On April 1, the Obama administration announced a new sanctions program to target "malicious cyber-enabled activities" -- the criminal hackers and government-backed spies who threaten America's security and prosperity with sophisticated online attacks.

The U.S. government did not issue sanctions against any of the individual hackers responsible for thousands of attacks on U.S. companies and government networks in the past two years. Nevertheless, by announcing the new program and creating the legal tools to freeze the assets of individual hackers in the future, the U.S. sent a clear message: After years of playing defense against cyberthreats, America is ready to play offense as well.

Cyberattacks are one of the most serious threats facing the U.S. today. In just the past two years, hackers have broken into computer systems at the White House, State Department and Pentagon; stolen millions of Americans' personal information from U.S. companies; and disrupted the computer networks of some of America's most important companies.

Read the full op-ed at FCW.


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