Nations including China and Russia that launch cyberattacks against the U.S. don’t fear retribution and see no reason to change their behavior, the Army officer tapped to be the next head of U.S. Cyber Command told a Senate Committee Thursday.
Army Lt. Gen. Paul M. Nakasone said that cyber threats against the country have grown exponentially, and the U.S. must impose costs on those adversaries to make them stop.
Frustrated members of the Senate Armed Services Committee peppered Nakasone with questions about what the U.S. should do to nations that infiltrate government networks, steal data from contractors or try to influence American elections.
“We seem to be the, you know, cyber punching bag of the world,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, adding that officials repeatedly tell lawmakers that the U.S. doesn’t retaliate against attackers such as Russia, China or North Korea. “Should we start cranking up the costs of the cyberattacks on our nation?”