US Lacks Co-ordination Against Russian Cyber Aggression, Admits Top General

A leading American General has slammed the ability of the United States to effectively combat Russia’s cyber threats.

The comments were made by the top US general in Europe, namely Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, who is also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

General Scaparrotti made the surprising admission whilst speaking to a US Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Poor Co-ordination

General Scaparrotti was quoted by Reuters as saying on Thursday that the US government did not have an effective unified approach to deal with Russia’s cyber threat.

This is despite the fact that US officials and US intelligence agencies have repeatedly warned that Russia is seeking to interfere in the 2018 mid-term US elections, either via social media (to spread fake news, misleading reports or propaganda) or plain old hacking attacks.

In January Trend Micro said that the ‘Fancy Bear’ hacking group (allegedly linked to the Russian military), had attacked a number of political targets in 2017, including the US Senate and organisations linked to the Olympic Games.

That group is best known for hacking the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and releasing sensitive documents including internal emails ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.

“I don’t believe there is an effective unification across the interagency, with the energy and the focus that we could attain,” General Scaparrotti reportedly told the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

The General had been asked by Democrat Senator Jack Reed whether he believed the different parts of the government had a co-ordinated effort to confront Russia’s cyber threat.

However General Scaparrotti said that the United States’ understanding of Russian cyber infrastructure was not satisfactory.

Patriotic Hackers?

“We’re getting a better understanding of it, (but) I would not characterise it as a good picture at this point, not satisfactory to me,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Russia has always denied it had meddled or interfered in the US Presidential election in 2016.

However in July last year, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin declared that while the country’s government had never been involved in cyber attacks against other countries, he did say that patriotic Russian citizens could be responsible.

The United States has officially blamed Russia for election hacking, and as a result expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the US.

Do you know all about security? Try our quiz!

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

View Comments

  • If General Scaparrotti thinks that interagency non-cooperation is an issue, what does he think of the 20 or more non-cooperating cybersecurity initiatives around the world who are wending their merry ways into a total mess in a global environment. They don't even have a defined, agreed deliverable and endpoint to their efforts.

Recent Posts

Apple Security Flaw Being Actively Exploited

Update now. Vulnerability impacts a number of Apple iPhone, iPad and Mac models, and the…

11 hours ago

Yale University Names Firms Still Operating In Russia

Data from Yale University shows a number of big name tech companies continue to trade…

12 hours ago

Police Arrest Four Over BT Cable Theft In North Yorkshire

Police make arrests after Openreach confirms to Silicon UK that a cable theft left 200…

1 day ago

UK Staff Resisting ‘Big Return’ To The Office, Says infinitSpace

Remote working to stay? Majority of business leaders are struggling to get staff to return…

1 day ago

Apple Axes 100 Recruiters, Amid Hiring Slowdown – Report

Hiring slowdown at Apple? Tech giant reportedly lets go 100 contract-based recruiters in the past…

1 day ago