Michelle Obama, the U.S. first lady, may have been a victim of hacking, according to TMZ. Barack Obama, U.S. president, said that he does not confirm the hacking of the first lady, but he does confirm that cyber security is a real threat for everyone. He will meet with business CEOs Wednesday to discuss cyber security.
A website posted Michelle Obama’s credit report, Social Security number, phone numbers, banking and mortgage information, and credit card details, according to TMZ.
Reportedly, the hackers also hacked Joe Biden’s, U.S. vice president, history, as well as celebrities like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Donald Trump, to name a few.
“We should not be surprised that if you got hackers that want to dig in and devote a lot of resources, that they can access a lot of people’s private information,” Obama said in a televised interview with ABC.
“It is a big problem,” Obama said, but he was not confirming the hacking of his wife or the White House.
Highlighting the seriousness of cyber security, Obama said that there are websites out there that sell people’s credit card information.
“Threats are more diverse, interconnected, and viral than at any time in history,” James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, said in a statement titled “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Committee” on March 12.
The report outlined cyber threats first of all the other threats in the world, which also included threats of terrorism, natural resources, health and pandemic threats, mass atrocities, and other threats of different regions around the world.
Clapper stated in the report that we are in a major transformation because our “critical infrastructures, economy, personal lives, and even basic understanding of—and interaction with—the world are becoming more intertwined with digital technologies and the Internet.”
In the U.S., a cyber threat is defined as cyber attacks or cyber espionage, which are risks to the reliability, and integrity of our networks and systems, according to the report. In response to cyber threats, the U.S focuses on cyber security.
Cyber Threats Defined
A cyber attack is an “offensive operation” intended to create physical effects or to manipulate, disrupt, or delete data, the report states.
The impact of a cyber attack could prevent access to a website, or if the attack is on a power turbine, then it could cause physical damage and an outage for days.
Cyber espionage means that networks are being intruded, or hacked, for sensitive information, which could be anything from personal information to diplomatic, military, or economic information.
“Hacktivists” target a wide range of companies and organizations in denial-of-service attacks as a form of political protest, and “cybercriminals” sell tools, via a growing black market, that could give access to “critical infrastructure systems,” according to the report.
Commercial companies are selling computer intrusion kits on the open market, which give governments and cybercriminals the “capability to steal, manipulate, or delete information on targeted systems,” the report stated.
Cyber Security Needed
Obama is scheduled to discuss cyber security with business CEOs on Wednesday and is expected to talk about efforts to address cyber threats facing the country.
The two will discuss ways the business industry and the government can work together to improve cyber security in the U.S., according to the White House, The Hill reported.
According to The Hill, the meeting comes “amid growing concerns within the administration over attacks from China targeting American businesses.”
“Foreign governments already use some of these tools to target US systems,” Clapper’s report stated.
Tom Donilon, a senior White House adviser, called on China to cease cyber-attacks and warned that the United States would take action to protect U.S. businesses against cyber threats, according to The Epoch Times.
Russia and China are advanced cyber actors, according to Clapper’s report.
“Increasingly, U.S. businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyber-intrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale,” he said in a written statement,” Donilon said in a written statement, reports The Epoch Times.
How China and Russia View Cyber Threats
There is a real cyber threat from governments around the world that want to control content in cyberspace, and the growing use of cyber capabilities to achieve strategic goals is outpacing the development our understanding of normal behavior, according to Clapper’s report.
China and Russia are best known for “Internet control” and “Internet governance” in their efforts to control people and maintain power. A cyber threat to those countries’ governments would be any information that would give people basic freedoms and truths.
“Russia, China, and Iran, focus on “cyber influence” and the risk that Internet content might contribute to political instability and regime change,” Clapper’s report stated.
For example, last year, Chinese authorities reportedly arrested over 1,000 netizens (citizens on the Internet), blocked a dozen social websites, and jacked up restrictions on popular microblogging platforms amidst continued political uncertainty in China, The Epoch Times reported.
People were arrested for “spreading rumors” about “military vehicles entering Beijing and something wrong going on in Beijing,” according to The Epoch Times.
Governments controlling the Internet contradict any policy meant to protect freedom of expression; the free flow of online information, and ensure a free marketplace for information technology products and services, according to the report.
“This is a fundamental difference in how we define cyber threats,” it stated.
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