Cyberwarfare by Russia

The U.S. goes on the cyber offensive

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

After years of bitter complaints about cyberattacks from foreign adversaries, a new report describes aggressive U.S. cyber plans and intrusions of its own against Russia, a show of long-understood American prowess on the leading edge of warfare.

What’s happening: Experts tell Axios that the leak, published Sunday in the New York Times, may intend to signal the damage that the two countries could suffer in its confrontation with the U.S. But the disclosure also risks exacerbating already-fraught relations.

Top DHS cyber official says foreign VPNs are a threat to data security

Christopher Krebs. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The head of the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity division described a popular class of anonymizing tools known as VPNs — particularly ones made in authoritarian countries — as a potential threat to data security and national security in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that was shared with Cyberscoop.

Why it matters: The services disguise the internet address and browsing habits of their clients from websites and eavesdroppers, but the VPNs themselves are potentially aware of every move a client makes online and every password they enter, making less-scrupulous VPNs an ideal espionage tool.