Monday, January 18

Stealth Wars | Opinion | THE COUNTRY


The headquarters of the Treasury Department in Washington, in a file image.
The headquarters of the Treasury Department in Washington, in a file image.ERIC BARADAT / AFP

The massive cyberattack that the United States government has just suffered by hackers linked to the secret services of the Russian Federation has almost gone unnoticed. The upward curve of the pandemic and the bumpy presidential transition, with a defeated president refusing to acknowledge the electoral results and still waiting to correct the verdict at the polls, have left the biggest cyber attack suffered by the US Administration in the background in the background. history.

This is not just another episode in the controversial relationship between Putin and Trump, but rather a worrying case of persistent cyber espionage that concerns all countries with which Russia maintains a disruptive attitude, as is the case with the partners of the European Union , mostly members in addition to the Atlantic Alliance. In addition to the chemical attacks on members of the Russian opposition and former secret agents, even on European territory, these cyberattacks make up a picture of stealthy activity that is not typical of a cold war but of asymmetric wars.

The White House has no longer dealt with this security crisis, which affects five departments – Treasury, State, Homeland Security, Energy and Commerce – and even the nuclear defense system, as well as private companies. The defeated president, Donald Trump, has attributed the attack to China, in open contradiction with the information supplied by his own Administration. It is not surprising that he is beginning to leave the republican party in this non-violent character, especially after his refusal to sign the bipartisan budget agreement to provide aid to citizens and companies affected by the pandemic and the lockdowns. President-elect Joe Biden, on the other hand, has declared cybersecurity a priority and has been willing to confront this attack from the first day of his presidency.

The Trump presidency will be linked in history to the activity of Putin’s secret services. They helped him reach the presidency in 2017 and are using the last months of his term to infiltrate the Administration and obtain strategic information, from nuclear weapons to the vaccine against the pandemic. In the last nine months, at least, the United States public cybersecurity agency has detected a patient, sophisticated and very well organized hacking activity that poses a “serious risk” to local, state and federal governments, and that also It can affect European countries, companies and institutions.

In the same days that the attack was known, the European Commission has just published its cybersecurity strategy, linked to the aspects of digital transformation included in the economic recovery plan after the pandemic. The installation of the new Democratic Administration after the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20, should be the opportunity for Washington and Brussels to strengthen their cooperation in the face of the growing threat from Russian services. Also in the field of cybersecurity, the transatlantic tie must be inspired by the principle of the Atlantic Treaty which considers the attack on any of the partners as an attack on the security of all.

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