Bolton signals US counterattacks against counties who use cyber attacks against US
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton confirmed this week that China carried out the cyber attack on the Office of Personnel Management in the theft of more than 22 million sensitive records on American government officials.This is a policy I have been urging for years. It is really the only way to actually deter such an attack in the future. I would like to see these attacks become sophisticated enough that they can detect and counter strike immediately and if possible fry the computer used in the attacks against us.
Bolton disclosed the Chinese hacking in unveiling the Trump administration's new national cyber strategy, which shifts the focus of security efforts from the passive approach of the administration of President Barack Obama to a proactive, aggressive stance against cyber attacks.
"For any nation that's taking cyber activity against the United States … we will respond offensively as well as defensively," Bolton bluntly stated at the White House Thursday.
China has been the most aggressive in conducting cyber espionage and cyber technology theft against the United States.
The National Security Agency estimated several years ago that China obtained 50 terabytes of data through cyber espionage, including details on F-35 and F-22 jets, space-based lasers, and other valuable data.
Members of Russia's GRU military intelligence service were indicted recently for the politically disruptive hack-and-release influence operation targeting the 2016 presidential election.
Russian cyber actors also conducted the NotPetya malware attack against Ukraine in 2017 that spread worldwide and destroyed data in banks, energy companies, an airport, and a shipping company.
North Korea conducted the global WannaCry ransomware cyber attack in May 2017 that infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world and disrupted business, causing billions of dollars in damage.
On the OPM hack, Bolton's comment on the Chinese role in the cyber attack was the first time a senior government official directly linked Beijing to the massive theft of federal records, including sensitive background information on hundreds of thousands of federal officials with security clearances.