How the United States Lost to Hackers

America remains the world’s most advanced cyber superpower, but the hard truth, the one intelligence officials do not want to discuss, is that it is also its most targeted and vulnerable.

Three decades ago, the United States spawned, then cornered, the market for hackers, their tradecraft, and their tools. But over the past decade, its lead has been slipping, and those same hacks have come boomeranging back on us.

Yet no one in government has seriously paused to recalibrate the strategy. Not with Michelle Obama’s emails caught in an American contractor’s dragnet in 2015. And not today, with Russian hackers inside our government networks. We went from occasional wake-up calls to one continuous, blaring alarm — and got better and better at ignoring it all.

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