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US & allies unite against China's cyberattacks

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, back in Nantucket for a few days, and a Quick Take to start out the week.Well, I thought I would talk about the finger-pointing happening at China for these cyberattacks. When we've been talking about cyberattacks recently, we mostly talk about Russia. It's been ransomware, it's been espionage, it's been disinformation, and US election intervention and all of these things. But no, this week it is all about China, and specifically the White House had this unusually strong statement, citing concerns about China's, what they call, irresponsible and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace, specifically talking about a hack against the Microsoft Exchange Server that we found out about back in March. That is a big deal.

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Will there be a decisive US response to Russian cyber attacks?

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

After an attempted hack of a Republican National Committee contractor, is cybersecurity at a breaking point between the US and Russia?

Well, that breaking point has been a long time coming. There was the attempt to manipulate the 2016 elections and now we see a series of ransomware attacks that are escalating. So the question is, what the US can do to decisively change the calculation on the Russian side? Making clear that there will be sanctions and other consequences that hurt should be a start. But it will only be credible if these promises are followed through and enforced.

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Biden likely to push Putin on cybersecurity in Geneva meeting

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

When President Biden and President Putin meet, will cybersecurity will be a key issue that they discuss?

Now, I'm sure that there will be many thorny issues on the table. But after American fingers pointed to Russia and hold it responsible for the SolarWinds hack, it's likely. Criminals in Russia were also not hindered when they held the Colonial Pipeline Company ransom through a ransomware attack. And really, when journalists and opposition leaders cannot speak a single critical word without being caught, how come cybercriminals can act with impunity in Russia? So the need for prevention and accountability really is significant. And I hope the President Biden can push and persuade Putin to change the confrontational and aggressive course that he is on.

Ireland's responses to ransomware attack; cryptocurrency scams

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

What options does Ireland have responding to the ransomware attack on the country's healthcare system?

Well, authorities are making resources available to decrypt and restore, which is a good step. And they also insist on not paying ransom to the criminals. But after the immediate fallout, they should do a scan on weaknesses in legacy software systems used across the country to make clear who is expected to protect and where weaknesses might exist. Then imposing information sharing standards could help the needed facts to come together and to facilitate both resilience and damage control in the future. There's also an opportunity to cooperate on attribution and accountability with like-minded countries. This should really push to end the impunity with which these crimes are perpetrated.

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DarkSide hack reveals risk of ransomware cyberattacks

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

What did the DarkSide incident targeting Colonial Pipeline reveal about ransomware and the vulnerability of critical infrastructure?

Well, basically everything you need to know. The type of impact debilitating infrastructure through a ransomware or other method of cyberattack has been warned about for years. The risk of exploitation of vulnerabilities in software with enormous ripple effects became very tangible with the attack on Colonial Pipelines. But remember that energy infrastructure in the US already enjoys the highest protections, and still the attackers managed to perpetrate.

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