Binary code set against a North Korean flag, November 2017.
Thomas White / Reuters

The United States has been the victim of repeated cyberattacks by foreign powers, and it seems to have little power to stop them. During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Russian hackers broke into the Democratic National Committee’s e-mail servers and made more general efforts to influence the election’s outcome, as detailed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian entities. In February, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials warned that the Russian government would again try to use cyber-operations to interfere with midterm elections in November. That same month, the White House publicly blamed Russia for “the most destructive and costly cyberattack in history,” the 2017 NotPetya malware campaign, which crippled the government of Ukraine before spreading to multinational corporations such as FedEx and Maersk, causing billions in damage.

The Russians are not the only ones hacking at the United States’ expense. Chinese hacking

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  • Michael Sulmeyer is Director of the Cyber Security Project at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center. He previously served as Director for Plans and Operations for Cyber Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
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