At least that's what security pundits are saying, following President Clinton's request for $2.8 billion of the budget to go toward fighting "exotic forms of terrorism," from chemical warfare to online attacks.
Combating these menaces will "dominate national defence in the next century," Clinton said Wednesday. The requested expenditures would include hiring "computer experts who could respond quickly to electronic terrorist attacks," said Clinton.
Picture this scenario: North Korea hires 35 hackers to crack U.S. defence
systems with commercially available equipment and software downloaded from
the Internet. Their mission: to prevent the U.S. Air Force from flying
Without actually breaking any countries' laws, the 35 tricksters work their way into the power grids and 911 emergency phone lines in 12 U.S. cities, and shut them down. With a similar degree of ease, the nefarious hackers then gain control of 36 computers at the Pentagon. All of this happens within four days. And army and navy generals are unable to tell that the ludicrous commands they are receiving from the warped systems are bogus.
The Pentagon recently ran a simulation of this hypothetical event, an exercise it called the Cyber Receiver, to illustrate the threat to national security. Now security activists are pointing to such examples in the wake of Clinton's commitment to fighting cyber warfare.
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