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.”
- 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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