Tags: cyberattacks | 911 commission | Tom Kean | Lee Hamilton

Cyberattacks Pose Grave Security Threat: 9/11 Experts

By    |   Thursday, 11 September 2014 06:41 AM

The U.S. is "at war in the digital world" though most Americans don't realize it, write 9/11 Commission members Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton in The Wall Street Journal.

Day after day the country is under relentless cyberattacks that target and besiege critical public and private computer networks. The possibility that these penetrations can result in calamity is not generally appreciated, they assert.

Kean, the former chairman, and Hamilton, the former vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, now head the Bipartisan Policy Center's Homeland Security Project.

Experts have described the "cyber realm as the battlefield of the future," they write.

By breaking into computer systems, foes can take control of such critical facilities as dams, water-treatment plants, and the electric power grid. They can even disable life-sustaining medical devices.

Chinese hackers have already absconded with top-secret military plans for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Global Hawk surveillance drone. Enemy hackers have rummaged through the files of private firms, taking business secrets valued in the billions of dollars. Others have stolen money and identities, write Kean and Hamilton.

"Only public attention can create the political momentum" needed to craft "a national cyber strategy," the former commission members write.

They call on Congress to set up an apparatus to make it possible for companies to report cyberattacks to the national security establishment.

Another must is a National Cyber Commission — along the lines of the 9/11 Commission, but this time before catastrophe strikes. They want to see the formation of a National Cyber Center modeled on the National Counterterrorism Center to facilitate information-sharing in the cyber realm.

Kean and Hamilton have been advised that the government is not doing enough to address the cyber threat.

"One lesson of the 9/11 story is that, as a nation, we didn't awaken to the gravity of the terrorist threat until it was too late. We must not repeat that mistake in the cyber realm," they conclude in the Journal article.

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The U.S. is at war in the digital world though most Americans don't realize it, write 9/11 Commission members Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton in The Wall Street Journal.
cyberattacks, 911 commission, Tom Kean, Lee Hamilton
Thursday, 11 September 2014 06:41 AM
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