US Intelligence Community marks cyber-threats among top global threats

A Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, presented by Daniel R. Coats, director of National Intelligence, sees cyber-threats among top global threats in 2018. The assessment warns of the risks of insecure devices being part of the Internet of Things, as well as the availability of criminal malicious tools. The assessment focuses on the increasing number of cyber-attacks by various actors ‘in a crisis short of war’, such as data deletion and disruptions of critical infrastructure. It estimates that over 30 countries have capabilities for conducting cyber-attacks, though no details are provided; in particular, it identifies Russia and North Korea as most likely conducting disruptive cyber operations against their neighbours and the US, and China and Iran conducting cyber espionage operations against their neighbours as well as the US government and industry. In addition, the assessment foresees the continued use of cyber tools by terrorist groups to organise and coordinate, recruit and spread propaganda, raise funds, and collect intelligence.