Cyber Security: Key to Homeland Security. (Up Front: News, Trends & Analysis)

Information Management, July-August 2002 | Go to article overview

Cyber Security: Key to Homeland Security. (Up Front: News, Trends & Analysis)


Many information security experts and government officials fear that the Internet, e-mail, or the nation's network infrastructure could be used as the next vehicle for a terrorist attack.

If you're not worried, perhaps you should be. Consider these facts:

* The Center for Strategic & International Studies reports that almost all the Fortune 500 companies' networks have been attacked by cyber terrorists. Also, the Center says that all it would take to decimate the technological infrastructure of the U.S. economy is fewer than 30 computer hackers strategically placed around the world and a budget of less than $10 million.

* Today's terrorists are technologically savvy. The World Trade Center hijackers communicated via encrypted e-mail and used the Internet to help plot the September 11 events, according to Fortune magazine.

* According to the research firm IDC, there are 1.3 million people worldwide who possess the skills needed to launch a cyber attack on public communications networks.

* In May, the FBI and Defense Intelligence Agency issued a secret warning that the Muslim Hackers Club included experts who have conducted classes on how to launch terror attacks on computer networks, according to a Newsweek report.

* Perhaps the scariest piece of information is that an expert recently gave the U. …

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