Cyber attacks against American interests are likely to continue and grow more damaging, in part because hackers face a low risk of consequences, the director of national intelligence told Congress on Thursday, the Military Times has reported.
James Clapper, the nation's top intelligence official, told the House Intelligence Committee that a muted response to most cyber attacks has created a permissive environment in which hacking can be used as a tool short of war to benefit adversaries and inflict damage on the United States.
“Until such time as we do create both the substance and the mindset of deterrence, this sort of thing is going to continue,” Clapper said, speaking specifically about the recently revealed hack of federal personnel information linked to China in which personal data on some 22 million current and former U.S. government employees, contractors, job applicants and relatives was stolen.
The big attacks that have been disclosed so far in 2015 involved the theft of data, and a lot of it. Some 21 million personnel records were taken from the Office of Personnel Management, likely by China, while 4,000 records, some with “sensitive” information, were stolen from the Joint Chiefs civilian email system, a theft blamed on Russia, according to DefenseOne.
But America’s top spies say the attacks that worry them don’t involve the theft of data, but the direct manipulation of it, changing perceptions of what is real and what is not.
Clapper spelled out his concerns in written testimony presented to the House Subcommittee on Intelligence today.
All-male ground combat teams outperformed their mixed-gender counterparts in nearly every capacity during a recent infantry integration test, Marine Corps officials revealed Thursday, according to Marine Corps Times.
Data collected during a monthslong experiment showed Marine teams with female members performed at lower overall levels, completed tasks more slowly and fired weapons with less accuracy than their all-male counterparts. In addition, female Marines sustained significantly higher injury rates and demonstrated lower levels of physical performance capacity overall, officials said.
Explosively formed penetrators — a particularly deadly form of roadside bomb — killed 196 American soldiers in Iraq over a five-and-a-half-year period, according to recently declassified Pentagon documents, according to DefenseOne.
That’s about half as many deaths as lawmakers have attributed to the bombs, which U.S. officials say were largely supplied by Iran’s elite Quds Force.
The carnage wrought by EFPs returned to the news over the summer, as opponents of the nuclear deal with Iran cited Tehran’s behind-the-scenes actions against U.S. troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom as a reason to scuttle the agreement. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who is also running for president, and others in Congress have said that EFPs had killed more than 500 troops.
But data from U.S. Central Command, which runs U.S. military operations in the Middle East, suggests the actual toll is far less. According to the first comprehensive accounting, between November 2005 and December 2011, 1,526 EFPskilled a total of 196 U.S. troops and injured 861.
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