The most surprising element of the US response to alleged Russian cyberattacks and other acts was the vast amount of published details.
In a series of statements, the United States released a vast amount of information on Russian intelligence. This includes the naming of front-line organizations and individuals who have worked with Moscow in recent years.
The purpose of the measure was to signal and impose costs, making it difficult for Russia to operate and prevent future activities.
One Russian tech company that supports the Federal Security Service (FSB) but is also active in foreign governments and international companies is a “large convention used as a recruitment event” by two Russian intelligence agencies. Was accused of hosting.
Another IT company has been accused of conducting “research and development to support the malicious cyber operations of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).”
Over disinformation and election interference, an online journal tried to obscure Russia’s origins and pushed out false explanations about U.S. officials in the 2020 elections, but SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. Was said to have been supervised by.
Another organization, on the other hand, was said to call itself a “news agency” when it was actually run primarily by military intelligence, a unit of the GRU.
Details about companies and individuals have also been released, including an FBI nomination poster by Konstantin Kilimnik, a political consultant whose role in election interference is expected to continue from the 2016 US election to 2020.
Many of the diplomatic exiles and sanctions on individuals may be largely shrugged by Moscow.
But I hope that such public obscenity can be confusing. For example, others may be discouraged from doing business or may come into contact with a designated company or individual.
The United States, along with the United Kingdom, accused SVR of being behind the SolarWinds spy campaign, which was previously linked only to Russia.
The exposure of SolarWinds’ cyber-spying activity has created pressure in Washington for a harsh response. The Biden team also wants to differentiate itself from the Trump era, when authorities had to circumvent the president to take action against Moscow.
To maximize its impact, the United States has combined response to cyber incidents with sanctions and other issues against election interference in 2020.
US officials say the elements of the reaction are “invisible.” This represents a secret activity, perhaps some cyber-destruction of the infrastructure used by Russian intelligence.
An important challenge the United States had to overcome was that they were exactly against SolarWinds.
Some members of Congress said it was a “war act,” but Russian activity seems to have been a targeted attempt to steal secrets-classical spies-and this is what the United States does. You are engaged in itself, and as a result, discussions that have never existed before should be a problem.
When disputed about this, senior officials come up with three arguments as to why it is “reckless and unacceptable.”
First, the scale of SolarWinds threatens national and public security.
Second, Russia’s past actions have increased the risk that the same access to the computer system used for espionage could quickly be switched to be used for sabotage. ..
Third, it put a heavy burden on the private sector.
These arguments can be disputed (and people may ask why they don’t apply to recent China’s linked Microsoft Exchange targeting). And a further risk is that the next time the United States conducts espionage, Washington could oppose those same arguments.
The message from Washington is that this reaction is “resolute, but proportional,” and does not have to lead to a downward spiral of relationships.
However, past experience suggests that all of these are unlikely to block the Kremlin. The Kremlin believes that in recent years it has been engaged in a conflict with the West below the traditional war threshold, which means a “stable and predictable” relationship Washington seeks with Moscow. It can remain elusive.