Tuesday, January 06, 2009

FBI Stoking Fears of 'Cyber Armageddon'

An AFP newswire article, via PhysOrg.com, reports that:

Cyber attacks pose the greatest threat to the United States after nuclear war and weapons of mass destruction -- and they are increasingly hard to prevent, FBI experts said Tuesday.

Shawn Henry, assistant director of the FBI's cyber division, told a conference in New York that computer attacks pose the biggest risk "from a national security perspective, other than a weapon of mass destruction or a bomb in one of our major cities."

"Other than a nuclear device or some other type of destructive weapon, the threat to our infrastructure, the threat to our intelligence, the threat to our computer network is the most critical threat we face," he added.

US experts talk of "cybergeddon," in which an advanced economy -- where almost everything of importance is linked to or even controlled by computers -- is sabotaged by hackers.

Michael Balboni, deputy secretary for public safety in New York state, described "a huge threat out there" against everything from banking institutions to municipal water systems and dams.

Henry said that terrorist groups are working to create a virtual 9/11, "inflicting the same kind of damage on our country, on all our countries, on all our networks, as they did in 2001 by flying planes into buildings."

More here.


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