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The Next Battle in the Cyber War: Attribution

The Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation held a hearing on cyber attack attribution: How to find and identify cyber villians and what impact that technology could hold for the anonymity and privacy of internet users.

“We are well aware of the critical role that IT networks play in managing much of our day-to-day activity“”from online banking to systems that make sure there is food on grocery store shelves,“ said Subcommittee Chairman David Wu (D-OR). “Our growing reliance on networks has made us more vulnerable to cyber attacks and has increased the potential for such attacks to have far-reaching and crippling effects. Now more than ever, we need to focus on the development of tools and technologies to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber attacks.“

As America becomes increasingly reliant internet, the odds of a devastating attack increases. Attribution technologies might be able to play an important role in stopping them from happening, or limiting the shock.

“However, given that the internet is intended to be open and anonymous, the attribution of cyber attacks can be very difficult to achieve and should not be taken lightly,“ Wu said. “As co-chair of the Global Internet Freedom Caucus here in the House, I am very concerned about the potential implications to privacy and internet freedom posed by attribution technologies.“

Members and witnesses also addressed looming capability gaps in attack attribution and who should be responsible for completing the research and development to solve those problems.  Such solutions would likely rely on strengthening coordination between government and industry to launch and run new attribution technologies.

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