Will the Cyclops Blink Before the FBI Gets Their Code?
Sandworm, like the monster in Dune, is big, scary and in this case real. It is a Russian hacking group that has set cybertraps across digital America. Thanks to Klon Kitchen, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Group, we know that Sandworm, affiliated with Russian military intelligence, has been busy inserting malware into compromised devices across the United States “to steal data, compromise information, send spam, perpetrate ad fraud, or launch distributed denial of service attacks.”
In short, the Russians have been doing what you would expect during a period of intense tension with the West. And they wouldn’t be Russians if they didn’t give their operation an appropriately sinister name – “Cyclops Blink.”
To counter this, the FBI is not waiting for permission to pull malignant threads from infected commercial networks. Some networks may not be aware the FBI, backed by federal court authority, is removing dangerous code in their systems. Given that some companies may not move fast enough, this is probably necessary to avoid national disruption. If this bothers you, imagine credit card and digital payment networks, banks, and other critical financial infrastructure all going down – not to mention the ominous possibilities of malfunctioning electrical networks, waterways and chemical plants. Still, as Klon Kitchen writes:
“If the Leviathan of government needs to be more aggressive in our defense, its chains must also be reinforced. Most of what happens in the cyberworld is necessarily secret, but this precisely why congressional and other forms of oversight need to be dragged into the modern era.”
Kitchen recommends the House and Senate form permanent select committees on cybersecurity to closely oversee the executive branch’s cybersecurity actions. There is no objection to the FBI acting rapidly to protect the American people from a malevolent foreign power. At the same time, congressional oversight is needed, lest this FBI authority expand beyond national security emergencies.