One of the perennial challenges in the cyber arena is the attribution of attacks, a task that is complicated by a tangled and sometimes interrelated cast of malicious actors, ranging from hostile foreign governments to non-state entities such as terrorist organizations, criminals and activist hackers. But within that complex environment, the activities of nations like China, Iran and Russia pose the greatest challenge.
"The most significant threats to the United States in cyberspace come from select nation-states, but we continue to watch closely for signs of non-state actors aimed against both government and private sector targets," Nakasone said, adding that Cyber Command actively monitoring "for signs of non-state actors making significant improvements in their cyber capabilities."
Nakasone also emphasized the importance of building cybersecurity partnerships among the military and civilian government communities that would also include healthy relationships with vendors and others in the private sector, as well as friendly foreign nations.
"[W]e need to better integrate our forces into the planning and execution of operations across the Department of Defense, [and] to build even stronger partnerships across the U.S. government, with allies and industry," he said.
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