From Brad Hoppmann: The epicenter of the news world today is Capitol Hill. There’s a confirmation hearing going on for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
There’s also the bigger news-making hearing about Russian hacking. Congress wants to get to the bottom of that country’s involvement in attempting to influence the presidential election.
This morning, FBI Director James Comey made a startling admission. (Yes, he of the famous pre-election flip-flop.) His agency is investigating whether links exist between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Here’s the money quote on the issue by Comey to the House Intelligence Committee:
I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.
Mr. Comey’s admission was surprising. But the director made yet another admission for the first time.
When asked if the president’s repeated claims that former President Barack Obama “wiretapped” him during the campaign, Mr. Comey said that there is “no information” that supports those claims.
Now, as you might imagine, the political rhetoric just went parabolic after that. Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee threw fireballs.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer sent out a tweet calling for the president to retract his “wiretapping” claim.
As for Republicans, their focus was on the leaks in this case. They’re also looking for violations of the law that led to media reports about contact that Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
To be certain, this situation is going to continue to garner a lot of political sniping.
That’s unfortunate … and it’s a threat to you.
You see — rather than focusing on how to prevent cyberattacks, including foreign government hacking of private U.S. citizens’ emails — both parties are going to retreat to their respective corners.
That makes the issue more about politics, and the wrongdoings of the other party.
What I think would be a more important … and much better use … of Congressional time and money, would be to come up with safeguards to the national security, fiscal security and privacy threats of U.S. citizens from what has been called “hacktivism” of all stripes.
Indeed, the issue of hacktivism is a problem. That’s where hackers try to change the outcome of a situation by obtaining and then releasing information to the public.
This is a problem that will likely continue afflicting society if we fail to step up to the cybersecurity challenges of the day.
Think about this for a moment.
If hackers can, by all accounts, relatively easily get into emails and release information designed to alter the U.S. elections.
Over the past several months alone, Yahoo! (YHOO) has been forced to admit two massive data breaches. That admission cost Yahoo!, and its shareholders, about $350 million off the acquisition offer from Verizon (VZ). Then how easy would it be to hack into other information-sensitive areas to wreak havoc on other segments of U.S. society … such as the banking system?
Yet from a more personal standpoint, what we need to admit to ourselves is that our very cyber lives are at risk from hacktivists and criminal cyber-attacks.
So, how do we correct this situation?
Fortunately, the war against hacktivism has some stalwart forces.
Indeed, there are many companies out there on the front lines of this fight. And for investors, those companies represent the kind of opportunity to profit from a massive trend that’s not going away anytime soon.
And who are the companies in the trenches fighting the cybersecurity wars?
Many of the biggest, and arguably best, can be found in the PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (HACK).
This Exchange-Traded Fund holds the world’s top, publicly traded cyber-security firms.
|HACK is up 24% year-over-year.|
Year-to-date, HACK already is up nearly 11%. And that’s at least partly due to the high-profile Russian hacking issue.
The top five holdings in this fund include:
• Trend Micro (TMICF)
• Fortinet (FTNT)
• Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
• Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP)
• Symantec (SYMC)
The cyber-security trend is one we are keeping a very close watch on right now, as opportunities abound in this market segment for investors.
The next step is to identify the best-of-breed stocks that could be the next big game-changers — and that’s a task we are undertaking right now among the Uncommon Wisdom Daily staff.
So, stay tuned!
The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSE:HACK) was unchanged in premarket trading Tuesday. Year-to-date, HACK has gained 10.67%, versus a 5.92% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Uncommon Wisdom Daily.