We Have “a Full Spectrum Of Response Options” to Cyberattacks: DHS Secretary


The United States is not backing down in the escalating threat of cyberwarfare.

Speaking at the RSA cybersecurity conference in San Francisco, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Kristjen Nielsen made it clear that the United States has a “full spectrum of response options” to engage in to fend off cyberattacks from foreign nations.

Furthermore, the DHS official said the US has not ruled out cyberattack offensives of its own against foreign countries if it means combating the threat of hacks against US infrastructure of meddling in US elections.

The DHS is increasingly growing concerned of protecting the country’s critical infrastructure assets after issuing what was a rare public alert about a sweeping Russian cyber campaign against US infrastructure.

Nielsen added the agency would consider recommending cyber strikes when planning responses with other agencies, in retaliation to another cyberattack.

She said:

We have to raise the cost of the attack.

The DHS secretary’s comments come not long after an unprecedented joint statement by the DHS, the FBI and Britain’s National Cyber Security Center that warned Russia is launching cyberattacks against US and British companies and government agencies by using compromised computer-network equipment.

An excerpt from the joint statement, which directs implicates a Russian government-led campaign of exploiting IoT devices to threaten the ‘safety, security and economic well-being the United States’ read:

“Russian state-sponsored cyber actors are using compromised routers to conduct ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks to support espionage, extract intellectual property, maintain persistent access to victim networks, and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations.”