Cyber Eye: Is cyberterrorism a Chicken Little event?
The Information Technology Association of America recently published a glossy booklet of essays, The Long Campaign: Information Security in the Age of Cyberterrorism. In his introduction, ITAA president Harris N. Miller wrote, “Welcome to the age of cyberterror.” Harris briefly recounted the SQL Slammer worm attack as an example of how vulnerable our networked, IT-dependent world has become. But in the next essay, presidential cybersecurity adviser Howard Schmidt cast doubt on whether we have really entered an age of cyberterror at all. “Terrorists are but one of the threats we face,” he wrote. “Whether, when and how they attack us remains to be seen.” So far, the United States has yet to suffer any real acts of cyberterror. There have been breaches, high- and low-profile, serious and trivial, but we have not identified any as coming from a nation or organized group whose goal is to terrorize for political motives. Damage from the worst of these incidents has been estimated in billions of dollars to businesses. But such figures are hard to document, and public reaction has rarely risen above mild annoyance. Hacktivism, or defacing Web sites with political statements, is the equivalent of graffiti and hardly rises to the level of terrorism. Full Story