Moscow’s Cyber Buildup

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The legacy of the Cold War has left many enduring images in the minds of most Americans, images that are usually associated with Russia and its nuclear arsenal.    But a key threat, from what many believe is the new Cold War, could very well be from Russian hackers. When listing countries with the most sophisticated and mature cyber-capabilities, Russia is usually right after the United States and right before China Russia has not been involved in many high profile, OPM-style cyber attacks, ones that are usually linked to China or Iran, but Russia has earned its place as one of the most effective cyber-entities in the world.

Russian hackers made headlines in 2015 by reportedly  breaching unclassified systems at both the State Department and the White House. Russia is also consolidating control over its cyber-forces through an organization similar to the U.S. Cyber Command, an indication that perfecting command and control over cyber-operations has become a Russian priority. The 2015 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community concluded that Russia is a greater threat than China in the cyber-domain, and there are indications that Russia is gaining the ability to remotely access industrial control systems. Given those systems are an integral part of American critical infrastructure, that ability represents a significant and growing threat.

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