US Intelligence warns on Counterintelligence and cyber espionage

10:00 ET, 5 February 2014

Intelligence officials now view the threat from counterintelligence, foreign spying and the leaking, as the No. 2 danger facing the country.

Top U.S. Intelligence officials released a new Worldwide Threat Assessment Report during a Senate hearing last week, they highlighted the top risks to national security. Let’s give a look to the list, cybersecurity  is still perceived as a need for Homeland security, it is the greatest threat for a second year, the effects of cyber campaigns conducted by foreign state-sponsored hackers are significant and represent a serious threat.

The report also refers to the risks related to the diffusion of documents leaked from the US Government, the reference to the Snowden case is clear, the impact related to the diffusion of secret documents are devastating. It is interesting to note that cyber threats from foreign spying activities and from whistleblowing have surpassed terrorism as threats.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper remarked that documents leaked by Snowden are a serious threat to the USA, cyber terrorists and foreign hackers could benefit from their disclosure.

[Snowden revelations] are “most damaging theft of intelligence information in our history.” Clapper said

Cyber espionage is the main cyber threat for the US Intelligence, in May 2013 the Defense Department blamed China-based hackers for a series of cyber attacks against American defense contractors and private. The accusation explicitly refers a cyber strategy of the Chinese Government that is interested to acquire intellectual properties from US industries

“in a deliberate, government-developed strategy to steal intellectual property and gain strategic advantage.”

According to Worldwide Threat Assessment Report, the top five threats from 2013 and for 2014 are:


According to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, the losses caused by intellectual property theft amounted to $2 trillion.

“the largest transfer of wealth illegally in the world’s history” and has cost the U.S. an estimated $2 trillion. “We are in a cyber war today,”  “Most Americans don’t know it. They go about their lives happily. But we are in a cyber war today.” reported Rogers in July.

US Intelligence agencies have tracked back numerous attacks from Chinese IPs, of course, this is not considerable a proof of Chinese state-sponsored attacks, but security experts have no doubts, the Chinese Government is responsible for the majority of attacks against US infrastructures.

Lest year Mandiant security issued a report that produced the evidence for the  link between Chinese state sponsored hacking and cyber attacks against US private companies and Government Offices.

The US government  accused China’s military of sustaining a campaign of cyber attacks against American government computer systems and defense contractors to qualify “military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.”

Intelligence officials now view the threat from counterintelligence as the second danger facing the Homeland Security … we cannot blame them.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Editor-In-Chief, CDM)







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