Conflict by other means: “Cyber is geopolitics.”

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Courtesy of the Wilson Center, Kennan Institute Director Matthew Rojansky and Silverado Policy Accelerator Co-Founder Dmitri Alperovitch held a press briefing yesterday morning on the topic of Russian and Chinese cyber mischief and the Biden Administration’s response. 

Staging malware in the power grid; using ransomware with economic effect.

Alperovitch opened by noting the “striking” divergence between the Administration’s rejoinders to Holiday Bear’s targeted, restrained romp and Hafnium’s reckless, untargeted campaign, which left “everyone literally on the planet who was running a vulnerable Exchange Server” exposed. He called the tepid response to China a “glaring oversight” and a “clear double standard,” given past sanctions against Russia, North Korea, and Iran. 

Russia’s norm-violating behavior, in Alperovitch’s view, includes the following: 

  1. ransomware
  2. prepositioning malware in the energy grid
  3. election…

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