The USA and Russia are holding talks this week aimed at making sure the two superpowers don’t mistakenly get into a cyber war.
According to CNN, the meeting will take place this week in Switzerland, and will include officials from the White House, State Department and FBI, and their Russian counterparts. The meeting has been set up to review the cyber security agreements that were signed in 2013.
In essence, the two countries want to make absolutely sure that they don’t erroneously blame each other for cyber attacks launched on them.
The problem stems from the fact that it is actually very difficult to pin-point where cyber attacks are launched from, as hackers almost always mask their true location. So in a worst-case scenario, it could seem like Russia is attacking Federal institutions in the US, causing a tense stand-off, when in fact it isn’t.
In December last year, US investigators believe a cyber attack crippled parts of the Ukrainian power grid, a first-of-its-kind confirmed cyber attack on civilian infrastructure. The investigators are confident that the Russian government was responsible.
“This meeting is not a restart of the Bilateral Presidential Commission working group (suspended in 2014 after Ukraine) but it is in our interest to discuss cybersecurity issues with Russia, including to review the 2013 Bilateral U.S.-Russia Cyber (confidence-building measures),” a senior US official told CNN.
In the interim, a cyber war hotline has been established between the two countries officials, so that they can contact each other directly if something fishy pops up online.
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