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New York Times' David Sanger on Cyberattacks

New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger takes a minute to answer questions about cyberattacks and why they have become the new weapon of choice for foreign adversaries.
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Why are cyberattacks the new weapon of choice?

They're cheap, they're deniable, they're easy to dial up or dial down, so that you can avoid getting a military response from your target. And most importantly of all, cyber weapons are malleable to whatever political need you particularly have. You can make them highly targeted or you can do them very broadly.

Where is the next cyberattack most likely to originate?

The four big adversaries that the US worries about the most are Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. But each one of them has very different targets in mind, and very different capabilities.

What keeps you up at night?

We've been sitting around waiting for the big "cyber Pearl Harbor" attack, and, in fact, it's the many other uses of cyber for data manipulation, for the kind of information warfare you saw in the 2016 campaign, that can be the most pernicious.

Who would you most like to interview?

Maybe the head of the GRU, the Russian intelligence service. They're the ones who've launched most of the most innovative attacks against the United States.

About the Expert
National Security Correspondent and Senior Writer, The New York Times
David Sanger
In a 36-year reporting career for The New York Times, David Sanger has been on three teams that have won Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2017 for international reporting. His book, “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age,’’ examines the emergence of cyberconflict as the primary way large and small states are competing and undercutting each other, changing the nature of global power.
David Sanger