Cyberterror: Clear and present danger or phantom menace?
Is cyberterrorism a real threat or just a distraction from the day-to-day job of maintaining network security? “Our enemies will use our technology against us…the fact that they may be from a Third World country should not in any way suggest to us that they will not understand how to use our technology. They will see the places where we did not think we needed to build in security and they will take advantage of those seams.” This extract from a speech made by Richard Clarke, former special advisor for Cyberspace Security to the US president, in the December following the events of September 11th, describes a scenario that probably seemed entirely plausible and inevitable to the audience of the Global Tech Summit given recent events. But two years on and despite the numerous terror attacks in Bali, Turkey and Iraq, the consensus among security experts is that there has never been a recorded act of cyberterrorism pre- or post-September 11th. Despite no precedence to support the idea of an “electronic Pearl Harbour”, governments continue to warn and even legislate around the issue. Just last month Singapore beefed up its Computer Misuse Act, giving police and other security agencies sweeping powers to “foil cyberterrorists before they attack.” The controversial Act, which has been criticised by opposition MPs as an “an instrument of oppression itself” allows for pre-emptive action. Anyone who hacks or defaces a Web site may be jailed for up to three years or fined up to $10,000. Full Story