Friday, November 28, 2008

UK Institute for Public Policy Research: IT Is A Key Terrorist Tool

Tom Young writes on Computing:

The embedding of IT in the UK's critical national infrastructure, and the country's increasing reliance on that infrastructure, poses serious national security concerns for the country, according to one of the Labour Party's favourite think tanks.

In addition to forming the backbone of the communications infrastructure, IT is now also heavily embedded in the running of more traditional infrastructures such as water, power and transport systems.

"The significance of this is all the greater when one considers the extent to which we have become an infrastructure-reliant society more generally," says a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

Over the last decade, companies around the world have taken steps to adopt a lean approach to business operations.

Ast a consequence, the supply chains of businesses have become globally stretched. This has increased efficiency but it also comes with a downside in terms of an increased reliance on a smoothly functioning set of infrastructures in energy, transportation and communications.

"In other words, the more efficiently we operate, the less slack there is in the system to cope with major disruption," says the IPPR report.

The Titan Rain campaign of coordinated cyber attacks on US computer systems since 2003 and attacks on Estonian financial infrastructure in May 2007 have highlighted the dangers of cyber warfare.

More here.


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