One of President Obama’s top cyber security advisers has left the White House after two years, a move that the administration has barely acknowledged.
The Federal Times reported that Ari Schwartz, who served as the National Security Council’s senior director for cybersecurity, left his post Wednesday after working in the Obama administration for a two-year term.
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The White House has been quiet about his exit, but an Obama official said that Schwartz had planned on leaving after two years. The administration also confirmed Schwartz’s exit to The Hill.
Schwartz first served as Obama’s director for cybersecurity privacy, civil liberties, and policy when he joined the administration in 2013. In March of the following year, he ascended to his latest role.
The move comes as the United States endures increased cyber security risks, especially from attacks originating in China and Russia.
Chinese sources were responsible for the large cyber attack on the Office of Personnel Management computer systems that compromised personal data of about 22 million Americans. Russia recently launched a sophisticated cyber attack on the Pentagon’s unclassified email system used by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sources in both countries have also waged cyber attacks on commercial targets.
While the Obama administration has hinted at sanctioning entities for the cyber attacks, no sanctions have been announced. The president backed away from imposing sanctions on China during a recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Washington, D.C., during which the two leaders mutually agreed to curb spying on companies.
James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, is not optimistic that the cyber agreement will eliminate cyber attacks from China.