Warning lights about cyber threats to U.S. national security are “blinking red” as digital attempts to undermine America are occur daily, not just at election time, the nation’s top intelligence official said Friday.
Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, but cyber threats also are coming from China, Iran and North Korea as well as criminal networks and individual hackers, said National Intelligence Director Dan Coats.
Targets include U.S. businesses, the federal government, the military, state and local governments, academic and financial institutions and critical infrastructure, he said.
“The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, in coordination with international partners, have detected Russian government actors targeting government and businesses in the energy, nuclear, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sectors,” Coats said.
He compared the cyber threat today with how U.S. officials said before 9/11 that intelligence channels were “blinking red” with warning signs that a terror attack was imminent.
“Here we are nearly