Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence issued a warning that there were strong signs of a potential cyber-attack on vital U.S. infrastructure and these may happen sooner than expected.
Coats revealed that countries such as China, North Korea, Iran, and Russia have been launching attacks on the computer networks of key government agencies as well as those of the federal and state levels, big corporations, as well as academic institutions.
The revelation was made during a privilege speech given by Coats at the Hudson Institute think tank. President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki to mark his first official summit with the long-time Russian leader.
President Trump made assurances that he would discuss the report made by U.S. intelligence that Russia launched cyber- attacks to influence the results of the 2016 presidential elections. Russia has always denied these charges.
According to Coats, the warning signs of an impending cyber- attack are growing. He compares these with the signals identified by U.S. intelligence agencies before 9/11:
“The system was blinking red. Here we are nearly two decades later and I’m here to say the warning lights are blinking red again.”
Coats likewise clarified that the U.S. government has yet to detect the types of cyber- attacks Russia fired off against state election boards which allegedly influenced the voters’ decisions during the 2016 elections.
However, Coats did confirm that fake social media accounts are still circulating in an effort to spread fake news and propaganda to support political interests.
Coats identified China as a potential threat and may attempt to steal highly- confidential military and industrial secrets.