Cyberterrorism Coming to a Computer near You!

Article excerpt

Cyberterrorism Coming To A Computer Near You!

Today, when the U.S. is the world's only superpower, our enemies can't hope to defeat us on the battlefield. The better method is to strike in secret. The best tactic is cyberterrorism - attacking the computers that run our defenses, banks, transportation and telecommunications systems, our power plants and hospitals, our water systems. It's not only possible to do so, but likely.

What to do? That's the job the of the president's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, formed last July to study the problem. Composed of both government and private representatives, it has broken the task into two parts: developing the technical means to protect computer systems, which are easily penetrated through the Internet, and deciding just who will be responsible for protecting what. That the threat exists is beyond doubt. A 1996 survey of Fortune 1000 firms revealed that 58 percent of U.S. companies had experienced computer break-ins in the previous year. A government survey indicated that in 1995 there were 250,000 attempts to penetrate military computers, and that a mere 325 attacks were detected. And the problem is greater than these figures suggest because many private entities are reluctant to disclose the attempted break-ins they have experienced for fear of eroding public confidence. The future is likely to be much worse. Ruthless economic competition has succeeded the military contest of the Cold War. …