A Washington Post op-ed by Sandworm author Andy Greenberg argues that American failure to retaliate quickly and effectively to such Russian provocations as the hacking of the South Korean Winter Olympics in 2018 have only served to embolden Moscow to take an even more assertive posture in cyberspace. The CyberWire's interview with Greenberg about his book affords a good overview of his reporting on Russian offensive cyber operations. Reuters says the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee may vote as early as next week on a Republican-proposed law that would increase sanctions against Moscow for both aggression against Ukraine and for attempts to interfere in US elections. The bill goes by the acronym "DASKA," for “Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act." It could come up for a committee vote as early as December 11th.
The US continues to push hard against the participation of Chinese hardware manufacturers--primarily Huawei, but also ZTE and a range of smaller companies that supply the two giants--in the coming global build-out of 5G networks. TheHill says that Six US Senators have asked FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to keep Chinese equipment away from the US power grid. And Reuters notes that, at this week's NATO meetings, President Trump has been at pains to point out the threat Chinese companies posed to the security of the nations that allow Chinese equipment into their networks. He took his case to UK Prime Minister Johnson during meetings at Number 10 Downing Street, according to Computing. The Prime Minister said that, while he had no wish for Britain to become hostile to foreign investment, he would nonetheless not compromise on security, and those remarks have been taken as a sign that Her Majesty's Government is moving closer to the US position on Huawei.
The US Congress is mulling legislation on several cybersecurity topics. Yesterday the Senate's bipartisan cybersecurity caucus received a classified briefing on ransomware from CISA Director Christopher Krebs. Fifth Domain has a summary of the direction in which that briefing is likely to move the lawmakers. So far that motion is expressed largely in terms of pointing with concern, but some action on ransomware seems likely, if not in this Congress, then in the next one. A Federal privacy bill is moving slowly through the Senate, in both Democratic and Republican versions (TheHill has an account), and the House has passed a law directed against robocalls. Fox News reports that Republican members think it likely the President will sign the anti-robocall bill, when and if it reaches his desk.