Skip to main content

Cyber Terrorism

We are all hearing more and more concerns about Cyber Terrorism. On May 29, 2010, Obama announced a new Cyber Security Plan and "He referred to 'spyware and malware and spoofing and phishing and botnets,' all different approaches to what he called 'weapons of mass disruption.'

The most recent, highly publicized cyber attack in January was more coordinated and sophisticated than many security experts had ever seen. Wired Magazine had an article with this quote: "Hackers seeking source code from Google, Adobe and dozens of other high-profile companies used unprecedented tactics that combined encryption, stealth programming and an unknown hole in Internet Explorer, according to new details released by the anti-virus firm McAfee.
“We have never ever, outside of the defense industry, seen commercial industrial companies come under that level of sophisticated attack,” says Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of threat research for McAfee. “It’s totally changing the threat model.”
A few things strike me as particularly interesting related to Cyber Terrorism:
1) The possibility of bots on US-based computers, laptops (iphones? and ipads?) attacking our own infrastructure is a realistic scenario. This recent article discusses the issue:
Imagine the irony of our own computers being our greatest national security weakness. Imagine an alert from the US government sent to the 300M US citizens: "Please turn off all of your computer devices and do not turn them on. They are attacking critical Internet systems. Do not turn them on until you are notified." Then, imagine life without a computer or iPhone or BlackBerry for a few days, maybe a few weeks or months..
2) The possibility of Cyber Terrorists attacking US-based power plants by hacking computers and generators. From CNN's Jeanne Meserve WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Researchers who launched an experimental cyber attack caused a generator to self-destruct, alarming the federal government and electrical ...
Imagine days/weeks/months without electricity. No lights, most ovens/stoves will not work, all food in refrigerators would spoil. All companies without generators would be shut down. All restaurants and businesses without generators would be shut down.
3) Would/could the US government respond with a Denial of Service attack on the originating attackers, assuming the attackers could be identified?
4) Would the US government shut down some or all of the core Internet routers to protect critical government systems? How would we live without computers?
5) Does the US have enough counter-cyber-terrorism experts to proactively defend against such an attack?
6) Are other countries changing their strategy from building "armies of soldiers" to building "armies of hackers"? Experts trained in Cyber Warfare?


Popular posts from this blog

6 Key Steps to a Successful Mobile Apps Strategy

What IT Can Do to Lead a Successful Mobile App Strategy CIO’s are under pressure to deliver business capabilities on mobile devices, all while optimizing budgets, increasing operational excellence, and providing innovative, secure solutions. It’s a complex juggling act. In the mobile space, it’s tempting to just jump in and start building mobile apps. But corporate IT needs to help balance the exuberance of building apps with using a common set of success criteria. This is especially true if the enterprise wants a manageable and successful mobile app effort, defined by usage, adoption and business value. While corporate IT can provide technical design and architecture expertise, even more important is the role they play in terms of coordinating the enterprise mobile app strategy. Here are six key steps for doing so: 1. Create a cross-functional “mobile app working team” This is a group of business and IT team members that are passionate about creating mobile solutions

Quadrennial Energy Review - Jan 2017 (notes) "The electricity system we have today was developed over more than a century and includes thousands of generating plants, hundreds of thousands of miles of transmission lines, distribution systems serving hundreds of millions of customers, a growing number of distributed energy resources, and billions of enduse devices and appliances. These elements are connected together to form a complex system of systems." "The electricity sector is, however, confronting a complex set of changes and challenges, including: aging infrastructure; a changing generation mix; growing penetration of variable generation; low and in some cases negative load growth; climate change; increased physical and cybersecurity risks; and in some regions widespread adoption of distributed energy resources

The End of Solitude - Response to William Deresiewicz

I recently read an article by William Deresiewicz titled “ The End of Solitude ”. What prompted me to read the article was an interview with Mr. Deresiewicz that I heard on NPR. During the NPR interview, Mr. Deresiewicz delved into the importance of solitude, being alone and time for self-reflection. Of course, you are naturally drawn to premises that are similar to your own so I listened intently as he contrasted the present with the past regarding the lack of “alone” time that we all face today. Mr. Deresiewicz’s literary knowledge is beyond impressive – he’s an academic and is able to compare and contrast numerous thought-leaders of the past and their views of the value of solitude. In “The End of Solitude” he highlights the importance of solitude that numerous philosophers and famous authors have written about for many, many years. My personal appreciation for Thoreau’s writing, specifically Walden and more specifically “Solitude” and “Economy” immediately came to mind as I read