You are here

FBI: cyber attacks are third greatest security threat

The threat of cyber-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" said FBI official, Shawn Henry to a  New York conference Tuesday per a story in the Sydney Herald.

  • "US experts warn of "cybergeddon", in which an advanced economy - where almost everything of importance is linked to or controlled by computers - falls prey to hackers, with catastrophic results. Michael Balboni, deputy secretary for public safety in New York state, described "a huge threat out there" against everything from banking institutions to water systems and dams. Henry said terrorist groups aim for an online 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."

Rick Hodgin of TG Daily added in his coverage of the conference:

  • "Christopher Painter, an FBI "specialist," described the basic weakness in fighting for cyber security. He said the threat is largely invisible and people don't always take it seriously. "It's not like a fire. It's hard to get your head around the threat. We often discover a company has been attacked and we tell them that and they don't know."

Bottom line: 

Out of sight -- out of mind. 

It is very troubling that in all the public discourse about the future of the Internet, cloud computing, and appropriate Internet public policy, there is so little discussion or coverage of the real and growing threat of Internet cyber attacks on our people, economy, government, and network-infrastructure.  

How many ignored problems, bubbles and crises do we have to endure before we learn...