A few weeks ago the Pentagon confirmed that part of the Department of Defense’s email system was compromised by hackers. Most shocking was the fact Defense Secretary Robert Gates had his name on the list of hacked emails. The DoD would not formally accuse the Chinese government of being the hackers, but Washington has began initiatives to step up security in cyberworld.
The Bush administration is considering the creation of a new agency that will focus on the security and protection of government computers and programs. The agency would also help private companies and public utilities prevent computer attacks and hacking.
How big is the threat against the U.S.’s government computers?
According to Brian Ross and Vic Walter at ABC News,
“Internet security companies, such as Akamai in Boston, are currently tracking thousands of attacks against the U.S. government and corporate computer systems every day…”We would not be in a good situation if we were to enter a cyberwar today,” Akamai co-founder and chief scientist Tom Leighton said.“
They also include in their report, “On most days, the single biggest source of those attacks is China…A Chinese general has talked about how they would reach out through cyberspace and turn off the American electric power grid before any conflict with the United States,” said Dick Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism official and now ABC News consultant.”
Sound like an episode from 24? I don’t know about you but I think this is some really scary stuff and this is actually one proposal that I’m going to support the Bush administration on.