The wars of the past happened on large battlefields with tons of tanks, planes, and soldiers. But now, the battlefield has moved onto the internet and into the shadows. Countries like Russia and China no longer attack their enemies out in the open.
They attack by hacking into the computer systems of their enemies. Once they hack in, they steal information, derail government projects, and manipulate elections. The question remains: How do we defend our country against these types of attacks? In this article, we’ll walk you through how our country defends against cyber attacks on the US government.
Identifying Cyber Attacks on the US Government
The first step in defending against cyber attacks is to figure out who attacked in the first place. Our government does this based on “signals”, or pieces of evidence, they leave behind. Countries have their own methods to hack into the computer systems of other countries. The US government can use the evidence left behind to identify the attacker.
If the government says the wrong country attacked, other countries will attack the US. False accusations lead countries to believe that they can cyber attack the US without getting punished.
Some countries make it look like another country attacked, called a “false alarm”. If other countries get blamed, the offending country will continue their attacks without getting caught. If a country gets caught committing a cyber attack against the US government, the US will retaliate and can cause problems for them.
Retaliation is Key to Preventing Attacks
Identifying the country that attacked is important because it allows the US government to retaliate in a targeted way. The US does this by sanctioning the country, hacking them, or increasing international pressure. This damages the attacking countries’ economy and could lead to a big headache.
The United States has had conflicts with Iran over its nuclear program for years now. The United States was responsible for hacking Iran’s nuclear facilities and led to the loss of nuclear material. Now Iran is planning a cyber attack against the United States for that attack and other sanctions.
Targeted retaliation keeps the country who attacked from attacking again based on fear. It sends a message to other countries that they’ll get caught and suffer the consequences when they attack.
Progress is Protection
Identifying the attacker and retaliating is the main way that the United States prevents cyber attacks. But the only way to prevent cyber attacks on the US government is for the government to keep improving its cyber defense. Upgrading our technology will keep us one step ahead of the technology of other countries and prevent cyber attacks.
The best way to defend yourself against these threats is to arm yourself with knowledge. To stay up to date on international conflicts and the political relationship between Iran and the US, please visit our site.