OPM hack: US sanctions option

by Chris Zappone

While the US’s tussle with China over cybersecurity often gets noticed because of the industrial espionage concerns,  the White House executive order designed to address economic espionage allows the US…

to sanction malicious cyber actors whose actions threaten the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States.

That could include the Office of Personnel Management hack. Yet the kind of data the Chinese are accused of accessing is plain ol’ vanilla details on 21.5 million US employees. Not the business plans and intellectual property theft that is outside the “norms” of accepted behavior in state sponsored hacking. If there is any takeaway on the US side, it seems to be how flawed the OPM’s security was.

OPMHow was the US be so complacent for so long? At some level, those in charge (including the White House) must have believed they had the luxury of working within a kind of vacuum of threats. The elites in Washington and everyone else are seeing that rather than a vacuum the US is in a kind of pressure-cooker. Call it, the new normal.