Friday, December 19, 2008

US Unprepared for Cyberwar

This is a recurring theme about the US being unprepared for a cyberattack. It's also been the subject of some debate, since there are a lot of questions about what exactly constitutes a cyberwarfare. Some cite the attacks on Estonia's and Georgia's Internet infrastructure by Russian sympathizers as examples of such attacks.

What's clear after a two-day cyberwar simulation is that vital computer networks in the US are vulnerable to a major hostile attack, according to this report on Reuters. Representatives of 230 government defense and security agencies, private companies and civil groups participated in the simulation, which had breakdowns in leadership, planning, and communications.

I think the key point that gets overlooked -- but was cited in the article -- is that a cyberattack wouldn't be an end in itself. It would be part of "softening of the target," as they say in the military, as a prelude to a traditional physical attack with conventional weapons, according to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in a post-simulation briefing.

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