Former White House Director for Cybersecurity Policy Chris Finan harshly criticized calls from officials to launch cyberattacks against Russia as “revenge” for their suspected involvement in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, saying they are “idiots” and “aren’t thinking very creatively or critically.”
Finan warned there was a broad disconnect between rhetoric and what people assume is possible and the reality of the situation, adding that in practice, “you’re often guessing” on hacks. He added that a good attack wouldn’t leave behind much evidence, and would probably leave false evidence to try to implicate someone else.
He went on to say that even if the US decided it does want to implicate Russia for the hack, retaliatory cyberattacks are a bad idea, both because the US has been telegraphing such a move, and because there is no reason to think that such an anticipated move would actually serve as a deterrent.
Finan went on to say that such a move would be a political minefield, likely to appear as an attempt to help the Clinton campaign by shifting attention to the hack itself and not the content of the data that the hackers released.
A number of Democrats have not only presented the attack as obviously Russian in origin, despite the lack of evidence, but tried to spin this as evidence that the Trump campaign is basically of Russian manufacture. Finan warned this position could backfire, cautioning that the Democrats “look at the glass house you’re living in before you start throwing rocks.”