How the Biden administration enabled the latest huge cyber-attack

Joe Biden has created a mess in America in virtually every possible way.

First off, let us talk about the economy.  How could the world's leading economists be so inaccurate in their projections for the most recent jobs reports?  Sleepy Joe was supposed to "Build Back Better" with a cool million new American jobs, but that projection was over 700K short of what had been projected.  In addition to the low jobs number, the administration had to also admit that the unemployment rate had ticked up to 6.1%.

Now, let us talk about the untold dangers facing millions of families living along the U.S. southern border.  Twenty twenty-one will see the largest number of migrants cross the border in the last 20 years.  It wouldn't be as bad if the people making the trek were really all women and children seeking asylum, but we are well aware that gang-bangers, drug dealers, terrorists, and other criminals exist in large percentages among the millions projected to enter the U.S. over the next few years.

While the idea of sovereign protected borders may be more than the current administration can comprehend, we must hope that these people at least realize that America has now reached crisis mode regarding the invisible borders that protect us in the cyber-sphere.

If they needed any evidence, this past weekend's Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, perpetrated by the DarkSide ransomware gang, successfully crippled the supply chain for fuel and drove up energy costs.  Perhaps even more frighteningly, it may have been a real-time blueprint for techniques to be executed during a future cyber-war.

The hack occurred just as the Department of Justice was beginning a 120-day review of critical cyber-security threats.  This wide-ranging initiative, announced days ago by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, is set to examine cryptocurrency hacks, major supply chain attacks similar to the SolarWinds hack, and the cyber threat from Russia and China.  "We are launching this week, under my direction, a review of how the department is looking at exactly this set of challenges," Monaco said in virtual remarks at a cyber-security event last week.  "We want to bring forth actionable recommendations in a 120-day time frame on what can we be doing better, working with our partners across borders, to address these threats."

Cryptocurrency attacks are part of the review because of their increased frequency over the past few years.  Initially, hackers used to take over computers remotely in order to mine cryptocurrency.  Now they have gotten smart enough to jump right into victims' digital wallets, or steal cryptocurrency sitting on computer clipboards waiting to be used in a transaction.

Last month's big news at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) was Jen Easterly's nomination as director.  Easterly was formerly a cyber-security and counterterrorism official at the National Security Agency (NSA) during an era in which America saw a major surge in international cyber-attacks.  During her time with the NSA, a secret map was released to the public that noted approximately "600 corporate, private or government victims of Chinese Cyber Espionage" that had been hacked within a five-year period.  These intrusions pierced "all sectors of the U.S economy, including major firms like Google and Lockheed Martin, as well as the U.S. government and military," according to reports.

In the aftermath of the Colonial DarkSide attack, we can probably expect more Russian and Chinese hacks.  But these threats are also joined by newer ones, including recent attacks against Mac users, who for years falsely believed that their systems were immune to hacking threats. 

The Biden administration must perform better in every facet — beginning with the dying economy, then the border, and then cybersecurity.  The administration's unrestrained folly, especially over the past week or so, is surely being noticed by the moderate voter base that will decide next year's midterm election.

Julio Rivera is a business and political strategist, the editorial director for Reactionary Times, and a political commentator and columnist.  His writing, which is focused on cyber-security and politics, has been published by websites including Newsmax, Townhall, American Thinker, and BizPacReview.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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