September 16, 2009

China, Russia Aggressive In Cyberworld

China and Russia have become "very aggressive" players in cyberspace, said U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair on Tuesday.

Blair's remarks coincide with the release of a report entitled "The 2009 National Intelligence Strategy (NIS)," which identifies boosting cybersecurity as a national priority.

The report, a four-year blueprint for the intelligence community, "elevates the importance of the challenges we face in the cyber domain," Blair told reporters.

Although the NIS did not specifically identify any particular nation as a cyber threat, Blair singled out China and Russia.

"China is very aggressive in the cyberworld," he said.

"So is Russia and others."

"Foreign entities, including state and non-state actors, violent extremist groups, cyber intruders, and criminal organizations, are increasingly undermining US interests in myriad and growing ways," read the NIS report.

"Globalization of the marketplace and the openness of modern information networks have enabled our adversaries' goals.

"At the tactical level, they are intent on penetrating our critical infrastructure, information systems, and leading industries."

The NIS advised that counter-intelligence measures be taken "across the cyber domain to protect critical infrastructure."

Such measures should aim to "understand, detect, and counter adversary cyber threats to enable protection of the nation's information infrastructure," the NIS said.

The Internet is "neither secure nor resilient," the report said.

"Nation states and non-governmental entities are compromising, stealing, changing, or destroying information, and have the potential to undermine national confidence in the information systems upon which our economy and national security rests."

The report recommended that cyber security expertise be extended throughout the intelligence community "as well as with allied intelligence services, industry, and the academic community."

The "explosive growth" in the volume of data creates significant challenges, and the intelligence community must improve its ability to "'sense data' and our capabilities to 'make sense of data'," the report read.

"History proves that riding the leading edge of technology is critical to the (intelligence community's) ability to deliver better intelligence."


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