The Trump administration’s refusal to publicly accuse Russia and others in a wave of politically motivated hacking attacks is creating a policy vacuum that security experts fear will encourage more cyber warfare, reports Reuters. In the past three months, hackers broke into official websites in Qatar, helping to create a regional crisis; suspected North Korean-backed hackers closed down British hospitals with ransomware; and a cyber attack that researchers attribute to Russia deleted data on thousands of computers in the Ukraine. Yet neither the United States nor the 29-member NATO military alliance have publicly blamed national governments for those attacks.
President Trump has refused to accept conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections using cyber warfare methods to help win. “The White House is currently embroiled in a cyber crisis of existential proportion, and for the moment probably just wants ‘cyber’ to go away, at least as it relates to politics,” said Kenneth Geers, a security researcher with NATO. “This will have unfortunate side effects for international cyber security.” With no one calling out known perpetrators, more hacking attacks are inevitable, experts say.