Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the House intelligence committee the lack of response to cyberattacks has created a “permissive environment”.
“I come away pretty confident, I won’t say a hundred percent – you should never say that – but pretty confident” in the ability of the nation’s spy services to “observe and monitor what the Iranians are doing”, he said.
To date this hasn’t happened, Clapper said.
“Decision making by senior government officials (civilian and military), corporate executives, investors, or others will be impaired if they can not trust the information they are receiving”, Clapper wrote.
“It’s a significant counter-intelligence threat”, Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey testified at the same hearing.
The testimony by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper before a congressional committee added to pressure on Beijing over its conduct in cyberspace just weeks before Chinese President Xi Jinping makes a state visit to Washington.
The committee also named Russian Federation, China, North Korea and Iran as the top cyber threats to the U.S. on Thursday.
Chinese cyber-espionage continues to target a broad spectrum of US interests, ranging from national security information to sensitive economic data and USA intellectual property, Clapper said.
Admiral Michael Rogers, who heads the National Security Agency, said Iran had carried out a number of attacks against USA financial institution’s websites in 2012-2013 but as negotiations on a nuclear deal progressed, Iran dialed these back.
If these types of nefarious activity were occurring, “we wouldn’t know that yet”, Stewart said.
The United States believes North Korea is behind another infamous hack, that of Sony Pictures.