Does Abandoning Embassy in Kabul Pose Cybersecurity Risks?

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Security Experts Size Up Impact of US Rush to Leave Afghanistan

Does Abandoning Embassy in Kabul Pose Cybersecurity Risks?

It’s unlikely that the U.S. abandoning its embassy and other facilities in Afghanistan poses cyber risks, thanks to the emergency planning that was in place, some security experts say.

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“Realistically, any cybersecurity impacts from the rapid evacuation are minimal to nonexistent,” says Jake Williams, a former member of the U.S. National Security Agency’s elite hacking team and co-founder and CTO at BreachQuest. “However, this is only because of lots of planning and practice with equipment and document destruction. Even if the situation on the ground moved faster than anticipated, these facilities would have prioritized lists of what to destroy first.”

The Taliban is not likely to be a cybersecurity threat to the U.S. because the group is focused primarily on establishing control of the Afghanistan government, security experts say.

Plus, as Frank Downs, a former NSA offensive analyst, notes: “Based upon the operating procedures of the Taliban in the past, it would be hasty to assume they are an advanced cyberthreat.”

Part of the advanced planning to secure the embassy and other sites took place last week when the Department of Defense Inspector General sent a notification to U.S. Army commands in the U.S. and Afghanistan,…