The White House has decided that it has to respond to China’s hack of OPM and the subsequent theft of the records of 20 million Americans, but is struggling to decide just how to retaliate, according to the New York Times.
Administration officials concluded that the theft fell outside of typical espionage practices, meaning that a traditional response would not be applicable. Officials are grappling with how to exactly respond with some leaning towards largely symbolic responses such as diplomatic protests or outing a known Chinese agent, while others are leaning towards more serious retaliation that some fear could spark a a larger hacking conflict between the two countries.
One official noted that they have come to the conclusion that they have to become more public with their responses to cyber intrusions so that they create a more obvious deterrent to potential hackers, “we need to disrupt and deter what our adversaries are doing in cyberspace, and that means you need a full range of tools to tailor a response.”
Check out the NYTimes article for more potential retaliatory options administration officials are considering.