Friday, May 29, 2009

'The Cyber Cop in Chief'

Ken Adelman writes on the Foreign Policy "The Argument" Blog:

There's an old adage about horsemeat: The more you chew, the bigger it gets. There's a new adage about cyberthreats: The more you know, the scarier they get.

Cybersecurity is vital to everything we do nowadays, from finance to romance. Just walk around any office -- whether medical, legal, public relations, manufacturing, service, whatever. Nearly everyone there is doing the same thing: sitting before a screen using a computer, mostly online. While cybersecurity is assumed, cyberinsecurity looms. It has morphed into a type of terrorism.

This morning President Obama told how today's terrorism comes "not only from a few extremists in suicide vests, but from a few key strokes of a computer." He dubbed the ability to cyberattack "a weapon of mass disruption." That's clever, but it shortchanges the danger.

Just last year were some 44,000 incidents causing the Pentagon alarm, no doubt many by Chinese authorities but some by geeky high-school hackers. Attacks across the U.S. federal government rose by some 40 percent last year, and bad guys in Iran got a hold of highly-sensitive blueprints for Marine One, and financial data on U.S. military helicopters. Other hackers apparently got their hands on data galore on the design and electronics of the new Joint Strike Fighter. One could go on.

More here.


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