Sunday, January 11, 2009

US Security Experts Fear 'Cybergeddon'

US Security Experts Fear 'Cybergeddon'
Agence France Presse (01/07/09)

Shawn Henry, cyber division assistant director at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), says that beyond weapons of mass destruction, cyberattacks pose the greatest threat to the United States. U.S. experts warn of a "cybergeddon" in which an advanced society that has most of its major infrastructure systems linked to or completely controlled by computers is sabotaged by hackers. Henry says terrorist groups are working to create a virtual 9/11 that would inflict the same kind of damage to the U.S. as the 9/11 attacks did. Last year, Russian hackers allegedly launched a major offensive against Internet networks in Estonia and Georgia, and Palestinian sympathizers have coordinated attacks against hundreds of Israeli Web sites over the past few days. "We're seeing that the folks on the cutting edge of this tend to be the bad guys," says the FBI's Donald Codling. "It's extraordinarily difficult for us to catch them." The FBI's Christopher Painter says cyberattacks are particularly dangerous because the threat is largely invisible and not always taken seriously as a result. "It's hard to get your head around the threat," Painter says. "We often discover a company has been attacked and we tell them that and they don't know."

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