US readiness against cyber threats is dubious, expert says
Army General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, rated US readiness against cyber attacks on critical infrastructures, on a scale of one to 10, a shocking 3.
Since 2009, the number of cyber attacks attempted on U.S. national infrastructures has increased 17-fold.
Alexander is concerned that some of these destructive attacks will cause problems with lasting effects.
For example, Stuxnet is discovered two years ago to be a malware designed to disrupt industrial systems. The New York Times reported that it was at first a joint US-Israeli effort to damage Iran’s nuclear facility.
Experts are worried that hackers or foreign governments may modify the worm and use it against the U.S.
“Because everything from elevators to prison doors are controlled by computers in our country, these systems lend themselves to manipulation and potentially to destruction,” Sean McGurk, a former official of Department of Homeland Security, was quoted by ABC News as saying.
The Senate will debate Cybersecurity Act of 2012 next week.