Law360: Biden Could Use Obama-Era Tools To Counter Sprawling Hack

December 18, 2020

O’Melveny counsel John Dermody is quoted in this article, which discussed President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to address a recent US cyber breach and to bolster the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure going forward.

In a statement, Biden pledged to work “from the moment we take office” to deal with a series of hacks that federal officials believe were carried out by a single, organized group backed by a foreign state, this article reported. The US Departments of Homeland of Security, Commerce, and Treasury are listed among the confirmed targets.

Dermody and other former government attorneys told Law360 there’s no single solution that will stop Russia, China, or other nations from mounting cyberattacks on US grounds. The Biden administration will ultimately be tasked with designing its own multipronged strategy expected to include some combination of public attack attribution, sanctions, indictments, and even some offensive cyberattacks.

“One of the challenging issues with cyber is that it tends to cut across so many other matters, like international trade or national security,” said Dermody, a former attorney at the National Security Council, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense.

“There is an awareness among federal officials that you have to consider the problem holistically and look at pulling other levers to get the response that you are looking for, whether that’s with deterrence, or cooperation, or something else,” Dermody added.

Law360 subscribers can read the full article here.