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Why the US was unprepared for the 2020 cyber breach

They call it Einstein. It's the multibillion-dollar digital defense system the US has used to catch outside hackers and attackers since 2003. But it was no match for what's looking like one of the biggest cyber breaches in US history. Ian Bremmer breaks it down.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Cyber attack: an act of espionage or war?

What We’re Watching: Navalny’s return to Russia, Italian PM in the hot seat, COVID probe begins

Kremlin critic heads home: Leading Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny plans to return to Russia on Sunday from Germany, where he has been recovering from an August 2020 assassination attempt in Russia widely attributed to agents of the Kremlin. The stakes are high: for one thing, the moment he lands, Navalny faces up to 3.5 years in prison for failing to comply with the terms of a suspended prison sentence he received in a 2014 graft trial. But the Kremlin will have to tread carefully. Navalny, a charismatic, nationalistic anti-corruption crusader with a sizable following among Russia's urban elite, has long been a thorn in President Vladimir Putin's side. But jailing him could turn him into a political martyr (as opposed to a literal martyr, which seemed to be the plan back in August) right as Russia heads towards legislative elections this winter. Those elections could prove dicey for the Kremlin: the Russian leader's popularity is near historic lows and the country is reeling from coronavirus. Putin also remembers that it was the rigged elections of 2011 that provoked the largest street protests in Russia's post-Soviet history. Who led them? Alexey Navalny.

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Russian cyber attack: How should the Biden administration respond?

How should the incoming Biden administration respond to Russia's unprecedented cyber attack on American government institutions and corporations? "Governments really don't like it when you sanction their people," says former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Sanctions are just one of a variety of response measures that Johnson explores with Ian Bremmer. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Russia's cyber attack: an act of espionage or war?

This week's pro-Trump rampage on the Capitol was an attack on the citadel of American democracy. But the United States was already reeling from another kind of assault, an unprecedented cyber attack on US government agencies and major American companies, very likely perpetrated by Russia. Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spent years trying to protect the United States against such an attack and he joins GZERO World to take stock of what we know—and what we don't—at this point. He also raises a fundamental question: At what point should we view such a breach as more than just high-tech espionage? When does it constitute an act of war?

Podcast: Was Russia's cyber attack an act of espionage or war?

Listen: Former US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spent years trying to protect the United States against the kind of massive cyber attack that Russia carried out against American businesses and government agencies in the last year. But at what point should we view such a breach as more than a remarkable feat of espionage? When does it constitute an act of war? Johnson joins Ian Bremmer to discuss.

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