Op-Ed: If You Haven’t Noticed, We Are In A Cyber WarScreen Shot 2017-01-17 at 1.06.35 PM
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One of the lasting legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the devastation caused by the absolute incompetence of his administration regarding our cyber security. I believe this has been an intentional carelessness, or at best an extreme negligence, that has allowed our adversaries to penetrate our networks time and time again. The fox has been in our cyber hen house for almost a decade. The consequences we are seeing almost every day now.
The high profile hacks, that we know about, include almost every agency of the federal government. However, most likely these are just the tip of the iceberg. What bothers me are the hacks we don’t know about. I would surmise these are legion, multiplied by the ones we know about by a factor of ten.
Americans are rightly worried about our enemies capabilities in light of the election fiasco. I still believe that the real story there is that Hillary was so corrupt and careless that she gave anyone armed with a just a Commodore computer the ability to access our government’s most vital secrets. However, the incident did show how tenacious and dangerous the cyber issue really is.
It was recently announced that for the second time in a year, the Ukrainian power grid was hacked and citizens of Kyiv lost power once again. This is serious stuff. Authorities say the attack was not meant to destroy critical infrastructure but only to cause chaos and confusion. The usual Russian hacking suspects were said to be behind the episode.
But what if the perps did have more malicious intent than turning off your refrigerator for a few hours? What if they meant to kill? I fear that our infrastructure is so open that it will be almost too easy for an adversary to completely shut us down. I believe the Obama people were too ignorant, or too incompetent, or too deceitful to really deal with the problem. Our systems are most likely filled with malicious code from 8 years of weakness and willful dereliction of duty.
Does anyone really believe Obama was serious about dealing with the issue? I didn’t think so.
The Trump administration has a herculean job ahead of them to deal with this problem. It is almost as if we have to leapfrog past the technology that has been picked over and already dissected by our enemies. From the blueprints of the F-35 to the names and address of federal and military employees, they have it all.
Experts say that the only way you can be sure your phone has not been compromised, if you fear a cyber breach, is to throw away the device and get a new one. Why would our country’s cyber systems be any different? They are most likely riddled with malware like a PC that runs slow because it is infected.
Yes, it will be expensive, but we have to spend the money. We have to fix this legacy that Obama has left us. We owe our children at least that much.
L. Todd Wood, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, flew special operations helicopters supporting SEAL Team 6, Delta Force and others. After leaving the military, he pursued his other passion, finance, spending 18 years on Wall Street trading emerging market debt, and later, writing. The first of his many thrillers is “Currency.” Todd is a columnist at The Washington Times, and has contributed to Fox Business, The Moscow Times, the New York Post, the National Review, Zero Hedge, Newsmax TV, Breitbart, and others.He is editor in chief of Tsarizm.com. For more information about L. Todd Wood, visit LToddWood.com.