Ron Marks, chair of the Intelligence Program at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security, sits down with Francis Rose to discuss the DHS report that Russian cyberattacks are on the rise, and why the nation is using them as a show of force.
An alert provided by the Department of Homeland Security warns that Russian cyberattacks are becoming a growing threat. According to Politico, the warning provides more technical details about the hacks than any prior government report. The attacks detailed by the DHS have been directed at the U.S. energy grid. According to Ron Marks, chair of the Intelligence Program at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security, the attacks are a message from the Kremlin that they are still relevant — and dangerous. “They want the vengeance back, they want to be back in the pre‑Cold War era. It is not going to happen, but what they can do is send those messages. These assassinations in London are also a message. ‘We can reach out and touch you any time, any place we want to,’” Marks said. “And from them it’s just projecting political power.” Marks said that it’s important to be aware that Russia isn’t the only game in town, and that cyber threats are increasing in general. “There’s a part of me that says it is the ‘hack de jour.’ In the sense that you can only concentrate in the public sphere on so many things at a time. I really don’t think anybody, certainly in terms of the working people who are working on this all the time, are forgetting about the Chinese,” Marks told Government Matters. “The North Koreans are quiet right now because they are trying to cut a deal. The Iranians and others will continue to be active. This is just an active field. It doesn’t really matter what day of the week it is, everyone is playing.”