Having to deal with the reality of cyber attacks

17 Nov 2010

Cyber attacks are just a reality we all face, the US Secretary for Defence has warned, and he believes cyber attacks pose a “huge future threat”.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates, a former CIA director, has warned that the dangers posed by cyber attacks are both current and in the future. He said the Pentagon has “bolstered security” for the military’s networks and hoped to do the same for security industry contractors, according to reports on Yahoo! News.

National security

The Defence Secretary said that the only defence the US had to fight cyber crime was the National Security Agency (NSA) but that you could not replicate what the NSA does for domestic affairs due to budgetary constraints.

Cyber attacks have been highlighted repeatedly in the news this year, with both the US (Cyber Storm III) and the EU (Cyber Europe 2010) rolling out mock attacks on their most sensitive systems. The Stuxnet virus also recently targeted specifically Iran’s uranium enrichment program and hackers managed to infiltrate the firewalls of the UK’s Royal Navy website.

Gates’ comments come after the Websense 2010 Threat Report forecast an increase in economic cyber terrorism in 2011.