US on high alert amid North Korea’s cyber threats

North Korea’s threats against the U.S. have brought a heightened sense of awareness around cyber threats, according to current and former government officials, operators of critical industrial systems, and other experts.The U.N. Security Council last week approved new sanctions against Pyongyang, prompting vows of retaliation, specifically against the U.S. Sources said the programs and entities ready to swing into action include Department of Homeland Security coordinating structures and information-sharing programs, the National Cyber Incident Response Plan, an interagency cyber coordinating group established during the Obama administration, and the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, or CTIIC, among others.”The systems are in place, but they are not as mature as they should be,” said one source with experience in the executive branch and the private sector.”The CTIIC is probably working a lot of overtime right now,” said a former high-ranking administration official who said the center would disseminate information about the North Korean threat “so policymakers have a comprehensive view.”The federal government has “a duty” to get related information, possibly sanitized to meet the recipients’ clearance levels, into the hands of infrastructure contacts, the source noted. That information would go out through DHS or law enforcement agencies.”The communication channels with the private sector are way better than they used to be,” the former ranking administration official said.


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