Cyber-Terrorism – Reality or Bust?

Scott Borg, the director of the US Cyber Consequences Unit (CCU), a Department of Homeland Security advisory group claims that cyber-terrorism is the new 9/11. In an article in The Independant, he talks of all kinds of scenarios, some plausible, others downright silly, in my humble opinion. Anyway, this is the article, all credits go to them:

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According to cyber-security experts, the terror attacks of 11 September and 7 July could be seen as mere staging posts compared to the havoc and devastation that might be unleashed if terrorists turn their focus from the physical to the digital world.

Scott Borg, the director and chief economist of the US Cyber Consequences Unit (CCU), a Department of Homeland Security advisory group, believes that attacks on computer networks are poised to escalate to full-scale disasters that could bring down companies and kill people. He warns that intelligence “chatter” increasingly points to possible criminal or terrorist plans to destroy physical infrastructure, such as power grids. Al-Qa’ida, he stresses, is becoming capable of carrying out such attacks.

Most companies and organisations seem oblivious to the threat. Usually, they worry about e-mail viruses and low-grade hacker attacks. But Borg sees these as the least of their worries. “Up to now, executives and network professionals have worried about what adolescents and petty criminals have been doing,” he says. “In most cases, these kinds of cyber attacks aren’t very destructive. The reason is that businesses generally have enough inventory and extra capacity to make up for any short-term interruptions.”

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