It’s hard to understand why the government bragged publicly about attributing an attack to North Korea that it concedes it cannot retaliate against.
Latest in WannaCry
The Government Accountability Office last week published a report that, among other things, weighs in on the pros and cons of the NSA/CYBERCOM “dual-hat” system (pursuant to which the director of the NSA/CSS and commander of CYBERCOM are the same person). The report deserves attention but also some criticism and context. Here’s a bit of all three.
1. What is the “dual-hat” issue?
Newly revived calls for the U.S. government to release all the vulnerabilities it holds are understandable but misguided.
Software and computer systems are a standard target of intelligence collection in an age where everything from your phone to your sneakers has been turned into a connected computing device. A modern government intelligence organization must maintain access to some software vulnerabilities into order to target these devices. However, the WannaCry ransomware and NotPetya attacks have called attention to the perennial flipside of this issue—the same vulnerabilities that the U.S. government uses to conduct this targeting can also be exploited by malicious actors if they go unpatched.
How to understand the latest ransomware epidemic.
Last month, a ransomware attack—one of the most far-reaching cyberattacks in history—affected thousands of hospitals, corporations, and other institutions in more than 150 countries. At least some solutions can be found in the executive order signed by President Trump the day before the attack began.
I thought the Windows tools were the most damaging the Shadow Brokers have to offer. Today, with the announcement of the Shadow Broker’s Data Dump of the Month club, I may need to eat some crow.
The most important policy question raised by the WannaCry ransomware fiasco is not the most obvious one.