President Donald Trump has spent the majority of his time in office attacking former President Barack Obama for not spending enough money on ships, planes and other forms of traditional military equipment. The cyberwar from Russia might get at the heart to why Obama was looking at other means of national security.
Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday, Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI deputy director for counterintelligence, explained that cybersecurity under the Trump administration has been operating on a shoestring budget.
Calling it a "massive intelligence failure," Politico's Natasha Bertrand said that critics of the White House are asking how this happened after spending billions to ensure it wouldn't happen.
"Make no mistake, our nation is under attack and it appears to be ongoing," said Figliuzzi. "How does something like this happen of this magnitude? Where 300,000 clients of a private company are potentially impacted including the most sensitive agencies in our government, it is because the Russias were able to find a single point of failure in our supply chain. Meaning this product that comes from SolarWinds is a network management product used by too many, quite frankly, of all government agencies and too many of our top telecommunications companies. Ten of which were compromised as far as we know -- so far. So, it is a larger issue, Nicolle, of supply chain management."
He said that it's more than merely an intelligence failure as Bertrand characterized. To Figliuzzi, "it's a national defense failure."
"This is the defense of our nation and systems and failure to oversee our supply chain in a form of allowing one company to service so many of our government agencies," he explained. "The Russians found that weakness and exploited it and we're still learning the extent of the damage and Natasha reported that hour now our nuclear components have been impacted and one of the words that jumped out there the reporting is damaged."
He went on to say that the cybersecurity resources are already being overwhelmed at a time "we have a president diverting money, billions of it, to build a wall, changing personnel at the top of the Pentagon and we've not heard word one about the plan or strategy to respond to this ongoing attack."
Figliuzzi explained that this is the new way that countries will wage war. It's a sentiment that military strategist Thomas Barnett predicted 15 years ago would eventually come to be a problem. At a TED talk in 2005, he said that people don't attack the United States militarily anymore because they know that the U.S. military is huge and will defeat anyone it goes up against. that's why countries have taken to asymmetrical warfare.
"We bought one military and we operated another," he warned the Pentagon as far back as the 1990s. It seems the entire country has figured it out, but Trump's administration still seems confused. After all, the White House still hasn't even acknowledged that Russia hacked his agencies.
See the discussion below: