Twitter Facebook Google RSS
National Defense > Blog > Posts > United States on Brink of Major Cyber Attack, Industry Executive Predicts
United States on Brink of Major Cyber Attack, Industry Executive Predicts

By Yasmin Tadjdeh

The United States could be on the cusp of a major cyber attack that would rival the destruction that was seen on 9/11, a retired lieutenant general and cybersecurity executive said.

“The day of the cyber-9/11 is looming and gaining on us,” said Ret. Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr. who serves as the chairman of the Deloitte Center for Cyber Innovation in Arlington, Va.

The destruction felt by this type of cyber attack would not be reserved to computers, but could result in real loss of life, huge economic damage and could affect the entire world, he warned.

Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, he said.

“It’s not ‘if’ anymore. It’s ‘when’ these kinds of things are going to happen. So we’re now … at this pre-9/11 moment in cyberspace,” Raduege said.

Raduege classifies cyberwars into three types — cold, warm and hot. A “cold” cyberwar would be tactical in nature and breeches would not have occurred yet; a “warm” cyberwar would be operational and include smaller attacks — such as recent ones on banking systems; and a “hot” cyberwar would be described by disastrous events that would devastate the nation economically and result in loss of human life.

In order to avoid these conflicts, the cyber domain must be secured. But a number of issues stand in the way of this, Raduege said.

For one, innovation simply is not moving fast enough, Raduege said. There is a “virtual wall” between government and the private sector that must be removed in order to collect information on attacks. Without more cooperation between the two entities, work cannot be done at the same rate that the attacks are occurring. Even within the government itself, there is a lack of communication among differing agencies that does not allow for a cohesive set of data.

“There is no overarching activity that is pulling all that together… Right now, if you take a look at all the attacks we are having, I think the bad guys are outclassing us and moving faster than we are defending ourselves — and I think that is a dangerous precedent,” said Raduege.

Raduege proposed the creation of a federal agency — which he called the National Office of Cybersecurity — whose head would have cabinet rank. This, he said, would give someone real authority and power to get work done, and encourage trust between the government and the private sector.

During the recent presidential debates, Raduege said he was concerned that neither candidate mentioned cyberattacks. To ignore the growing threat of cyber — which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and FBI Director Robert Mueller both have warned about — is dangerous, he said.

“We’ve been warned and we’ve been warned consistently about the potential of cyber attack,” said Raduege, and yet not enough is being done.

Just within the Defense Department, cyber attacks have increased 680 percent over the last five years, Raduege said.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto


Re: United States on Brink of Major Cyber Attack, Industry Executive Predicts

Ginning up hysteria -- a marketing strategy that never gets old!
sglover at 11/16/2012 2:04 AM

Add Comment

Items on this list require content approval. Your submission will not appear in public views until approved by someone with proper rights. More information on content approval.

Name: *

eMail *

Comment *



Name: *

eMail *

Comment *


Please enter the text displayed in the image.
The picture contains 6 characters.

Characters *


Legal Notice *

NDIA is not responsible for screening, policing, editing, or monitoring your or another user's postings and encourages all of its users to use reasonable discretion and caution in evaluating or reviewing any posting. Moreover, and except as provided below with respect to NDIA's right and ability to delete or remove a posting (or any part thereof), NDIA does not endorse, oppose, or edit any opinion or information provided by you or another user and does not make any representation with respect to, nor does it endorse the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other material displayed, uploaded, or distributed by you or any other user. Nevertheless, NDIA reserves the right to delete or take other action with respect to postings (or parts thereof) that NDIA believes in good faith violate this Legal Notice and/or are potentially harmful or unlawful. If you violate this Legal Notice, NDIA may, in its sole discretion, delete the unacceptable content from your posting, remove or delete the posting in its entirety, issue you a warning, and/or terminate your use of the NDIA site. Moreover, it is a policy of NDIA to take appropriate actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable intellectual property laws. If you become aware of postings that violate these rules regarding acceptable behavior or content, you may contact NDIA at 703.522.1820.



Bookmark and Share