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How Should the U.S. Respond to the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange Hacks?

03/12/2021 | Dmitri Alperovitch, Ian Ward

In the first two months of 2020, news broke that Russia and China, the United States’s two primary geopolitical adversaries, had both executed major cyber operations against the networks of American companies and government agencies. On their faces, the two attacks shared much in common: both appear to have been espionage operations designed to give foreign intelligence agencies access to sensitive targets and to steal emails, documents and other data that would be of value to the Russian and Chinese governments. Both attacks were far reaching, affecting tens of thousands of American networks and testing the limits of U.S cyber defense capabilities and the country’s broader cybersecurity strategy.

Though the strategic goals of the two operations might have been similar, the execution of the two attacks could not have been more different—and when it comes to the United States’s response, these differences matter. In an article for Lawfare published in March of 2021, Dmitri Alperovitch, Silverado's executive chairman, and Ian Ward, Silverado's communications and research specialist, delineate the differences between the two attacks and explore how those differences should inform the U.S.'s response. In the process, they argue that the only way to create lasting and effective norms in cyberspace is for nations to enforce red lines when they are crossed.

Read the full article here.

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How Should the U.S. Respond to the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange Hacks?

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