Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FBI Suspects Terrorists Are Exploring Cyber Attacks

Siobhan Gorman writes on The Wall Street Journal:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking at people with suspected links to al Qaeda who have shown an interest in mounting an attack on computer systems that control critical U.S. infrastructure, a senior official told Congress Tuesday.

While there is no evidence that terrorist groups have developed sophisticated cyber-attack capabilities, a lack of security protections in U.S. computer software increases the likelihood that terrorists could execute attacks in the future, the official warned.

If terrorists were to amass such capabilities, they would be wielded with "destructive and deadly intent," Steven Chabinsky, deputy assistant director of the FBI's Cyber Division, told the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

"The FBI is aware of and investigating individuals who are affiliated with or sympathetic to al Qaeda who have recognized and discussed the vulnerabilities of the U.S. infrastructure to cyber-attack," Mr. Chabinsky told the committee, without providing details.

Such infrastructure could include power grids and transportation systems.

More here.


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