Washington Post: Say, This Obama Guy Should Strike Back Overy Cyber Hacks

OK, the Washington Post Editorial Board doesn’t exactly say Obama should do something, but that whoever is supposed to be in charge of the Executive Branch, whoever they are, should

A pathetic breach of responsibility on cybersecurity

BY ANY measure, the breach of Office of Personnel Management networks this year stands apart. It represents a failure of stewardship and a serious external threat.

After the OPM suffered a cyberintrusion in 2014, its director, Katherine Archuleta, asked Congress in February for $26 million in additional funding for cybersecurity. She said the agency stores more personally identifiable information than almost any other in the government, including banking data for more than 2 million people and background investigations for more than 30 million, among them individuals being considered for military enlistment, federal job appointments and employment by federal contractors. “It is imperative,” Ms. Archuleta wrote, that “the confidentiality of this information be secured to protect the identities, lives and livelihoods of these people, and the family members and associates identified as part of these records. The threats to identity theft, financial espionage, etc., are real, dynamic and must be averted.”

And, they were not averted, as we just saw the massive cyberintrusion, stealing information on roughly 4.2 million federal workers.

Now there is a lot of frantic closing of barn doors. The administration announced a “sprint” toward tighter cybersecurity measures. But how did it happen that a repository of such value and sensitivity was left vulnerable to theft in the first place? Both the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Homeland Security, which is supposed to protect federal civilian networks, have a lot of explaining to do.

Say, I wonder who’s ultimately in charge of those departments? Who allowed this “pathetic breach of responsibility”?

For years, Chinese intruders, among others, have zeroed in on the U.S. government and its contractors, seeking scraps of information that could be used to pry open networks. Now the Chinese hackers must think they ha ve hit the jackpot. The stolen data and security forms could easily be leveraged to blackmail or pressure federal workers, including those who handle classified information, and might also compromise foreign nationals whose names are on those security forms.

The Chinese, and other hackers, have no fear whatsoever of America, thanks to the weakness of the Obama administration.

The breach also calls for a determined probe to identify the hackers and strike back. We don’t suggest this lightly. It seems to us that just slamming doors and building more firewalls may be an insufficient response to an assault of this magnitude. An essential aspect of deterrence is the credible threat of retaliation.

While I agree with the sentiment, the WPEB fails to state how America should strike back. The editorial mentions unleashing the US Cyber Command, but they are primarily involved in defense from cyber attacks. Should the US hack the heck out of those who hack the US? In my opinion, yes. What does the WPEB think? They don’t say. We certainly can’t arrest Chinese hackers in China. Do was launch military/special forces type attacks on the hackers? They don’t say.

In the Age of Obama, no one is afraid of America. Countries are not concerned with America fighting back. Americans are more concerned about their government coming after them then countries are concerned with retaliation. Teddy Roosevelt was correct when he said “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. This isn’t about passivity: it’s about making sure countries know that power can be unleashed. Instead, we have a community organizer with a silver tongue who has failed to grow beyond his community agitator skill set.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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