FBI's View of the Cyber Threat

“Cybersecurity: Preventing Terrorist Attacks and Protecting Privacy in Cyberspace, ” Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security:
The most sophisticated actors have the ability to alter our hardware and software along the global supply chain route, conduct remote intrusions into our networks, establish the physical and technical presence necessary to re-route and monitor our wireless communications, and plant dangerous insiders within our private sector and government organizations. The actors that currently have all of these capabilities — which is a finding that is distinct from whether and when they are using them — include multiple nation states and likely include some organized crime groups.

In the cyber realm, the technical positioning an adversary requires to steal data typically provides them with the very same access and systems administrator rights that could be used for destructive purposes. As a result, our adversaries' use of Computer Network Exploitation — the ability to monitor our networks and steal our secrets — might simultaneously provide them with pre-positioned capabilities to conduct Computer Network Attack — the ability to deny, disrupt, degrade, or destroy our information, our networks, and the infrastructure services that rely upon them.

-- Steven R. Chabinsky, Deputy Assistant Director, Cyber Division, FBI
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