How Big A Threat Is Cyber-Terrorism?

from the where's-the-evidence dept

For years now, the government keeps saying that cybersecurity is a big issue in protecting the US critical infrastructure, but security experts keep wondering where exactly the threat is. Now, there’s a new book coming out that seems to hype up the threat called Black Ice. The first link leads to an excerpt from the book that is described as “chilling”, but doesn’t actually seem all that chilling. They explain how, as an exercise, some NSA hackers got access to some military machines and could have caused problems. Then, with no real explanation, they suggest, oh yeah, the hackers also could have messed up our telecom and utilities systems. However, (a) the example in the book is from 1997, which is quite a while ago and (b) everyone has said (perhaps they’re lying?) that such critical infrastructure systems are not actually connected to the internet. I don’t doubt that hackers (or, hell, a virus) could cause a lot of pain, and bring down some computers, but suggesting that they can completely bring down critical utilities from operating requires a little more proof. Of course, I imagine that writing a book saying “oh, yeah, hackers really couldn’t do all that much damage to critical infrastructure” probably doesn’t sell as well as the one pointing out that the sky is falling.

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Comments on “How Big A Threat Is Cyber-Terrorism?”

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bastard sam says:

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It does sound good doesn’t it.
The only real proof anyone has of cyber terrorism being dangerous in the least is the fact that the alkita bombers communicated via e-mail. This was a shocking revelation at the time, and kind of what sparked all the non sense that came afterward. This sort of thing is yet another example of the supposed authorities on any given subject not really knowing the technical side of a given issue. This is also a huge problem with law makers as well.

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