White House pledges to step up cyber offence on hackers

Silhouette of mobile device user is seen next to a screen projection of binary code are seen in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House warned foreign hackers on Thursday it will increase offensive measures as part of a new national cyber security strategy.

The move comes as U.S. intelligence officials expect a flurry of digital attacks ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

The strategy provides federal agencies with new guidance for how to protect themselves and the private data of Americans, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters. (https://bit.ly/2xrQ0XK)

“We have authorized offensive cyber operations that will be undertaken through the coordination process in the new presidential directive,” Bolton said. “It is in our national interest to do that not because we want more offensive operations in cyber space but precisely to create the structures of deterrence that will demonstrate to adversaries that the cost of their engaging in operations against us is higher than they want to bear.”

The strategy is heavily influenced by another separate national security planning document released by the White House in December, Bolton said, which focuses on four “pillars”: protecting the homeland, promoting American prosperity, advancing American influence and achieving “peace through strength.”

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