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Rosenstein Warns Russia Is Only One Tree in Forest

In the closing session of the first full day of the 2018 Aspen Security Forum, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein warned not only of increased threats from Russian influence operations but also of the additional global cyber-threats from other nation-states.

Sharing key points from the Justice Department’s new cyber-digital task force report, Rosenstein said that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was “just one tree in a growing forest,” according to The Hill.

Affirming that Russia is not the only foreign adversary targeting the US with cyber-threats, Rosenstein’s comments come only days after The New York Times reported that a "besieged Trump" appeared to be ad-libbing when he said that foreign meddling “could be other people also...a lot of people out there.”

During his presentation, Confronting Global Cyber Threats, which followed earlier sessions Defending Democratic Institutions: Election 2018 and Beyond and Securing the Homeland, Rosenstein reportedly warned, “These actions are persistent, they’re pervasive, they are meant to undermine democracy on a daily basis – regardless of whether it is election time or not.”

Combating the advanced, persistent threats from different nation-state actors, including North Korea, China and Iran, is at the root of the report Rosenstein referenced in yesterday’s talk.

“Computer intrusions, cybercrime schemes and the covert misuse of digital infrastructure have bankrupted firms, destroyed billions of dollars in investments and helped hostile foreign governments launch influence operations designed to undermine fundamental American institutions,” the report said.

Technology’s rapid advancement has empowered malicious foreign actors to reach “unprecedented numbers of Americans covertly and without setting foot on U.S. soil. Fabricated news stories and sensational headlines like those sometimes found on social media platforms are just the latest iteration of a practice foreign adversaries have long employed in an effort to discredit and undermine individuals and organizations in the United States,” according to the report.

Rosenstein’s remarks were part of a panel moderated by David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent at The New York Times. Panel members included Thomas Bossert, former assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Greg Clark, Symantec’s CEO; and Lisa Monaco, former assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.

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