Former Obama adviser: Election-style hacks ‘bound’ to happen again

Former Obama adviser: Election-style hacks ‘bound’ to happen again

A former adviser to President Obama predicts that nation-states and others will try to use cyber intrusions to disrupt future election processes and “weaponize” data as Russia did during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The hacks targeting high-level Democratic Party officials marked a “new threshold” in cyber activity, Lisa Monaco, who advised Obama on homeland security and counterterrorism, told CNN commentator David Axelrod on his podcast “The Axe Files.”

“We in the United States have entered a new threshold and crossed into a new threshold where we have state actors and others trying to use these cyber tools in new ways to intrude in our election process, to weaponize information,” Monaco said.

“What we’ve seen from the intelligence professionals is a clarity on the fact that whether it’s Russia or others — and copycats or nation-states or other nonstate actors — that we are bound to see something like this again,” she said during the podcast episode released on Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT
The U.S. intelligence community concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a cyber-enabled influence campaign against the presidential election, with the goal of undermining the U.S. democratic process and hurting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump notes 'election meddling by Russia' in tweet criticizing Obama Former Obama advisor calls Fox ‘state sanctioned media’ Biden rips Senate GOP healthcare bill, says it 'isn't about healthcare' MORE.

Officials first publicly tied the Russian government to the hack of the Democratic National Committee last October. Monaco said she first became aware of the Russia connection “sometime over the summer.” 

The FBI acknowledged last month that it had been conducting a counterintelligence probe into Russia’s efforts since July, including exploring any links or coordination between members of President Trump’s campaign and Moscow. 

Congressional committees are also investigating Russian active measures against the election. 

Monaco said that the government must focus on improving its defenses against cyber intrusions in order to prevent similar hacking campaigns in the future. 

“I really think we need to be turning a lot more attention to understanding that, shoring up our defenses, and understanding how we can prevent it from happening again,” she said.