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Wray: FBI Conducts Offensive Cyber Operations

In testimony before the US Senate Homeland Security Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that his agency conducts offensive cyber operations against both state and non-state threat actors. Wray did not offer specifics about the offensive operations. “However, he warned that deterring nation-state threat actors from continuing to engage in illegal cyber activity is much more difficult than disrupting their operations.”

Note

  • Another long running policy debate. When this comes up, my response is always “Did you check that you are not vulnerable to those same offensive tactics before you use them?” I always attribute that philosophy to the first US security analyst, who in 1736 said “Don’t throw stones at your neighbors, if your own windows are glass.” Mr. Franklin’s advice pre-dated Stuxnet by 274 years…
  • Be really careful conducting offensive operations. To include not only resistant to all the attack techniques you’re dying to lose on your target, but also all the basics – hardened/updated entry points, MFA everywhere, responsive monitoring and alerting. Even then, if I can’t talk you out of it, I would make sure you have support to the highest levels and experienced guidance.

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