President Barack Obama answers questions during a joint news conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, July 22, 2016. Obama says he has worked to deepen the U.S. relationship with Mexico and that the two countries are not just strategic and economic partners, "we're also neighbors and we're friends."   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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A new White House directive institutes a scale from level 0 to level 5 to classify a cyberattack

Lisa Monaco, Obama's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, is expected to make the announcement

CNN —  

President Barack Obama on Tuesday instituted a new directive on cyberattack coordination that aims to make clear how the federal government handles cyber incidents and better informs the public on what to do once they have been hacked.

The directive institutes a scale from level 0 to level 5 to classify a cyberattack. According to the White House, any incident that ranks at a level 3 or higher is considered “significant.”

The announcement comes the day after the FBI confirmed it was investigating a hack into the Democratic National Committee, the first acknowledgment from the agency that they are probing the incident, which US officials suspect came from a Russian cyberattack.

According to the directive, the FBI will take the lead on any cyberincident if the actor is a nation state or criminal and will coordinate the response from collecting evidence to bringing charges.

Organizations that have been hit by cyberattacks will also be able to receive help from the Department of Homeland Security, which will help victims deal with the impact of the attack and stop it from potentially spreading.

“When it comes to cyber actors, the global landscape is increasingly diverse and dangerous,” Lisa Monaco, Obama’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, is expected to say at an International Conference on Cybersecurity in New York, according to prepared remarks.

“Nations like Russia and China are growing more assertive and sophisticated in their cyber operations. … To put it bluntly, we are in the midst of a revolution of the cyberthreat – one that is growing more persistent, more diverse, more frequent and more dangerous every day.”

The announcement by the administration comes following increasing cyberattacks from foreign nations and criminals in recent years on both private companies and the government.

“Our wired world also presents a great paradox. The same tools that connect us can deliver destruction,” Monaco will say Tuesday. “Our task, going forward, is to ensure that our innovation and interconnectedness remains a source of strategic advantage and not a strategic vulnerability.”