US World Wide Cyber Threat Assessment

In this article we will cover the Cyber part of a yearly report released by the American government titled as WORLDWIDE THREAT ASSESSMENT of the US INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY for 2019.

This document contains 42 pages that performs assessments for threats collected by the various intelligence agencies, this report is publicly available , you can download it in the link.

While the report covers several different aspects of threats to the USA there is a section giving details about the american view on the cyber world and the threats its posses.

This is a official rare glimpse to the way people behind one of the strongest cyber countries thinks.

The reports starts with defining the threats

“The adversaries and strategic competitors will increasingly use cyber capabilities—including cyber espionage, attack, and influence—to seek political, economic, and military advantage over the United States and its allies and partners.”

The report continues and states that At the  present, China and Russia pose the greatest espionage and cyber attack threats, but it anticipates that all the adversaries and strategic competitors will increasingly build Similar capabilities.

Same as last year report, the report states that as there are billions of connected devices to the internet , it predicts that the adversaries will almost certainly gain greater insight into and access to our protected information

This are the countries the report is alerting about as the biggest threats to the USA:

  • China – China presents a persistent cyber espionage threat and a growing attack threat to the USA core military and critical infrastructure systems.
  • Russia – Russia poses a cyber espionage, influence, and attack threat to the United States and its allies. The report states that Russia has the ability to execute cyber attacks in the United States that generate localized, temporary disruptive effects on critical infrastructure—such as disrupting an electrical distribution network for at least a few hours—similar to those demonstrated in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016. Moscow is mapping USA critical infrastructure with the long-term goal of being able to cause substantial damage.
  • Iran – Iran continues to present a cyber espionage and attack threat.
  • The report states that “Iran has been preparing for cyber attacks against the United States and its allies. It is capable of causing localized, temporary disruptive effects—such as disrupting a large company’s corporate networks for days to weeks—similar to its data deletion attacks against dozens of Saudi governmental and private-sector networks in late 2016 and early 2017.
  • North Korea – North Korea poses a significant cyber threat to financial institutions, remains a cyber espionage threat, and retains the ability to conduct disruptive cyber attacks. Pyongyang’s cybercrime operations include attempts to steal more than $1.1 billion from financial institutions across the world.
  • Unattributed Actors – Foreign cyber criminals will continue to conduct for-profit, cyber-enabled theft and extortion against US networks. The report anticipate that financially motivated cyber criminals very likely will expand their targets in the United States in the next few years.

This year report also contains an additional section related to cyber intelligence discussing ONLINE INFLUENCE The report continues and states that adversaries and strategic competitors probably already are looking to the 2020 US elections as an opportunity to advance their interests. More broadly, US adversaries and strategic competitors almost certainly will use online influence operations to try to weaken democratic institutions, undermine US alliances and partnerships, and shape policy outcomes in the United States and elsewhere.

The report itself going into more details in addition to other types of threats.

This report covers only the way USA perceive the threats against it and doesn’t mean that it is accurate or true.