NSA Director Mike Rogers confirms risks of major cyber attacks

Pierluigi Paganini November 21, 2014

The director of the US National Security Agency Admiral Mike Rogers confirmed that “probably one or two” countries have the cyber ability to hit the USA.

In the recent weeks different attacks hit US infrastructure, the networks at The State Department, at the US Postal Service systems and at the WhiteHouse were compromised by hackers. Security experts speculate that state-sponsored hackers are targeting US critical infrastructure for cyber espionage purpose, the circumstance poses the USA at serious risks.

China, Russia, but also North Korea and Syria are countries with great cyber capabilities and according to cyber experts they are able to mount a major attack against US critical infrastructure.

Admiral Mike Rogers, the director of the U.S. National Security Agency, confirmed that “probably one or two” countries have the cyber ability necessary to infiltrate US networks and shut down critical systems.

The Admiral Mike Rogers stated that U.S. power utilities, telecommunication network,  aviation networks, financial companies and energy firms are privileged targets of state-sponsored hackers.

US National Security Agency directed bu Admiral Mike Rogers

Speaking to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee about cyber threats, Rogers explained that hackers can penetrate US networks to gather sensitive data in a “reconnaissance” activity and data collected could be used in successive hacking campaigns.

“What concerns us is that access, that capability can be used by nation-states, groups or individuals to take down that capability,” he said.

Rogers explicitly refers China as one of the countries that can compromise US infrastructure.

“There’s probably one or two others,” Rogers  said, declining to provide further comments.

Rogers testified two days after the rejection in the Senate of the review of the NSA surveillance collection of telephone records.

“Rogers testified two days after a bill to overhaul the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone records failed in the Senate. Privacy advocates will probably now have to start over to pass a law to reform U.S. surveillance rules. He said at the hearing that telephone companies are still providing those records to the NSA, but under stricter rules than when the program was exposed in 2013 by former contractor Edward Snowden.” reported the Reuters Agency.

Rogers explained that the NSA despite is still accessing to data provided by telephone companies, has completely changed its way to manage it in compliance to stricter rules that preserve citizens’ privacy.

This is a crucial moment for the US intelligence, the Agencies are moving forward with significant technological changes and at same time have to face with growing threats against Homeland Security.

“He said the agency, and telephone companies, would rather wait and see what might be included in any new law.” added the Reuters.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  US Critical Infrastructure, cyber warfare, Mike Rogers)

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