•   
  •   
  •   

Politics 'Security of our nation' at stake with cyberattacks: NSA chief

15:30  19 november  2021
15:30  19 november  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Top national security officials stress need for collaboration in cyberspace

  Top national security officials stress need for collaboration in cyberspace Cyber Command has over 2,000 military personnel from soldiers to civilians who are focused on securing the nation from foreign threat actors. "Cybercom's mission is to play the away game and to execute operations outside of the United States that keep us secure," Maj. Gen. Joe Hartman, deputy commanding general of U.S. Cyber Command, told ABC News' Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas. "On a daily basis, whether it's nation-state, malicious cyber actors trying to steal secrets, whether it's ransomware actors -- every day our adversary gets up and attempts to execute operations against the United States. They're not going to stop and neither are we.

Every day, foreign adversaries make millions of attempts to hack America's military networks, Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command Gen. Paul Nakasone says, and there is incredible pressure to defend the nation from those adversaries.

  'Security of our nation' at stake with cyberattacks: NSA chief © ABC News

"What's at stake is obviously the security of our nation," Nakasone told ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas in an exclusive interview. "We don't want to have a failure to imagine what's happening."

ABC News was granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the "Battle Bridge" where the secret spy agency's cyber operations take place.

Supply-chain vulnerabilities and 4 other threats to the US that the FBI director is worried about

  Supply-chain vulnerabilities and 4 other threats to the US that the FBI director is worried about The threats come from both state and non-state actors, with China and Russia behind some of the challenges. Homegrown violent extremists © AP Photo/Rick Bowmer An Oklahoma City police car near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, April 24, 1995. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer Domestic terrorists are high on the FBI's threat list. The FBI categorizes Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) as individuals who commit violent criminal acts to further socio-political goals and who have been influenced by domestic factors, including racial, ethnic, anti-government, or anti-authority views.

Everyone from sailors to civilians works on the main floor of the Integrated Cyber Command Center at Fort Meade in Maryland outside Washington.

General Paul Nakasone, the Commander of United States Cyber Command, speaks with ABC News' Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md. © ABC News General Paul Nakasone, the Commander of United States Cyber Command, speaks with ABC News' Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.

"This is military, civilian, contractor. This is Department of Defense. This is intelligence community. This is other agencies of our government. They're all resident here working side by side," Nakasone said, adding that they have "unlimited reach."

MORE: 'Perfect storm': Bulletin warns of extremist violence as pandemic restrictions lift

The surge of ransomware is a national security issue, Nakasone said, adding that if you asked him a year ago what he thought about the response, he'd say it was a criminal matter.

National Cyber Director Chris Inglis on stemming cyber threats

  National Cyber Director Chris Inglis on stemming cyber threats Host Michael Morell speaks with the nation's first national cyber director about the prevalence of ransomware and why Russia and China might tolerate criminal hackers on their soil. Inglis also talks about why deterrence in cyberspace is difficult, and how the U.S. government is engaging the private sector to bolster cyber defenses. This episode was produced in partnership with the Michael V.

"Think of your day, think of my day," he said. "What do we do with regards to our information? How do we communicate? How do we buy things? How do we store our money? This is all done online. This is what our nation has been able to leverage for so many years. This is an important medium. And we have to make sure that that medium is safe and secure."

ABC News' Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas talks with General Paul Nakasone, the Commander of United States Cyber Command, at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md. © ABC News ABC News' Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas talks with General Paul Nakasone, the Commander of United States Cyber Command, at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.

To do so, the NSA uses "Hunt Forward" teams.

"Our 'Hunt Forward' teams are defensive teams that are requested by a partner, an ally, a country to come and hunt on their networks. Why do we do that? Because we do that to be able to identify malware and tradecraft of our adversaries," he said. "Once we do that, we share that with the private sector and that provides a level of inoculation or protection from that type of malware. So, we've done 24 missions over the past several years."

Critics say McKinsey's work for both Chinese companies and Pentagon poses potential security risk

  Critics say McKinsey's work for both Chinese companies and Pentagon poses potential security risk McKinsey in recent years has faced accusations of alleged conflicts of interest in its bankruptcy work and other fields.McKinsey’s consulting contracts with the federal government give it an insider’s view of U.S. military planning, intelligence and high-tech weapons programs. But the firm also advises Chinese state-run enterprises that have supported Beijing’s naval buildup in the Pacific and played a key role in China’s efforts to extend its influence around the world, according to an NBC News investigation.

Nakasone said he first heard about the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in the news media.

In May, hackers, who the government later said were based in Russia, caused Colonial Pipeline's fuel lines to shut down and created a major disruption in the nation's fuel supply and a run on gas stations along the East Coast.

"I heard about it from family members that said, 'Hey, aren't you the commander of U.S. Cyber Command and the director of NSA? Can't you do something about this?' That's the moment in time when I knew that this is serious, this is touching the American people," he said.

ABC News' Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas talks with General Paul Nakasone, the Commander of United States Cyber Command, at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md. © ABC News ABC News' Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas talks with General Paul Nakasone, the Commander of United States Cyber Command, at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.

In addition to Colonial Pipeline, meat supplier JBS was hacked by a different Russia-based group, REvil, authorities said, prompting the Justice Department to put out a $10 million reward for information leading to its founder.

That reward shows the "national power" being applied against ransomware attacks, Nakasone said.

South Korean Media Giant CJ ENM Nears Deal to Buy Endeavor Content

  South Korean Media Giant CJ ENM Nears Deal to Buy Endeavor Content Endeavor is closing in on a deal to sell a majority stake in its Endeavor Content studio to South Korean media giant CJ ENM, the company behind films like Parasite and Snowpiercer, a source familiar with the discussions confirms to The Hollywood Reporter. The deal, which could still fall apart before it is finalized, would […]The deal, which could still fall apart before it is finalized, would value the company at between $900 million-$1 billion. Endeavor will retain a 20 percent stake in Endeavor Content, and is also holding on to its non-scripted and film sales divisions. (The Wall Street Journalfirst reported the news Thursday.

Stopping and protecting against cyberattacks takes private and public partnerships, he said, and 90% of the nation's critical infrastructure is in the private sector.

MORE: 'Perfect storm': Bulletin warns of extremist violence as pandemic restrictions lift

Nakasone said six months ago he would have given American businesses a "low C" for investing in infrastructure to protect their networks and educating the workforce.

"I think that we've gotten a lot better since then, but we still have a ways to go," he said.

Nakasone also assured Americans that the agency is not spying on Americans, as some have alleged.

"What I would say that makes me so confident is every single person that works at our agency whether they're military, civilian, the first thing you do, you swear an oath to defend the Constitution," he said. "The second thing is we have robust training here. And the third thing is we have a culture of being able to look and ensure what we're doing is by the book and by the law."

Asked about intelligence failures in Afghanistan, Nakasone said things always look different in hindsight.

"I think with any mission we always take a look back and say, 'What could we have done better?' We've had 20 years of experience in being able to deploy our people to Afghanistan, think about it," he said. "What really was the difference is not the fact that we sent great technology or the fact that we had superb tradecraft, it was our talent that went to Afghanistan. But we'll take a look back and we'll say what could we have done better certainly."

He said the NSA takes security seriously, especially after well-known security breaches like the case of Edward Snowden. "We take security incredibly seriously here. There's a vigilance that's applied to it. Understanding exactly what takes place here is something that we have learned our lessons on, and we'll continue to make sure that we have a safe and secure workplace to make sure that we can operate from."

Nakasone said a top priority is recruiting and maintaining the best talent, adding he prides himself on the diversity of the NSA's workforce.

"One of the things that makes this place go, that makes our agency and command go, the best people. And so how do we recruit? How do we retain? How do we ensure the population can rejoin our agency once they go to the private sector? That's what keeps me up at night," he said.

ABC News' Jack Date and Ely Brown contributed to this report.

FBI left out of the loop in cyberattack reporting bill .
The Biden administration is "troubled" by legislation that would require companies to report cyberattacks to the Department of Homeland Security but not the FBI.In testimony to Congress, Bryan Vorndran, the assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, said that the Biden administration is “troubled” by legislation proposed by the Senate and House homeland security committees requiring a wide range of companies to report intrusions to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency but not simultaneously to the FBI.

usr: 1
This is interesting!