RealNews

Facing up to the Threat From Cyber Terrorism

The US government is increasingly looking to the private sector for protection against computer attacks. Ben Hunt talks to Tom Noonan, head of leading group Internet Security Systems. A Canadian teenager may not represent the most obvious threat to US national security but Tom Noonan has witnessed the damage such an individual has inflicted in the past. Mr Noonan, chief executive of Internet Security Systems, one of the companies leading the fightback against internet crime, recalls a damaging attack on the internet in February 2000 by an individual known as Mafia Boy. “Mafia Boy launched an extremely destructive denial-of-service attack against online financial communities, reservation systems and everything else. It shut businesses down. When that was investigated the smoking gun ended up in the hand of 15-year-old Canadian boy,” he says. That attack, and hundreds that have taken place since, ruthlessly exposed the vulnerability of the internet and the businesses and organisations with a presence on it. Mr Noonan argues that the US, in particular, is endangered by such attacks. “We believe in the US that because we are the most computer-automated society, it has benefited us to the extent that we are the most productive society, but it has also made us the most vulnerable in this new age,” he says. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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