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Author Topic: myth or fact: cyber-terrorism  (Read 3138 times)

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Offline Metgod

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myth or fact: cyber-terrorism
« on: November 04, 2003, 04:29:57 PM »
*grumbles*

I had a really nice reply here but the stupid board didn't post it and when I go back what do I see.. a BLANK message. Taz can we please have that fixed.. to have it saved ?

anywhere.. here's the article.. a damn shame I lost my reply :(
It was a really nice one.. *sigh*

met.


http://www.infoworld.com/article/03/11/03/HNcyberterrorism_1.html

By Grant Gross
IDG News Service
November 03, 2003

WASHINGTON - No hard evidence exists that shows a cyberterrorism
attack on the U.S., but when such an attack comes, it is likely to be
much more harmful than the current crop of relatively unsophisticated
viruses and worms that have caused billions of dollars in damages, a
cybersecurity expert said Monday.

Terrorism groups have planned cyberterrorism attacks for years, and
those attacks are waiting for a vulnerability to trigger them,
predicted Norm Laudermilch, vice president of managed security
services for VeriSign Inc.

"Anybody think we're dealing with dumb terrorists?" Laudermilch asked
a crowd during a seminar on cyberterrorism at Computer Security
Institute's Computer Security Conference and Exhibition in Washington,
D.C. "We're not going to have a month to patch our systems, because
the plan is going to be already in place."

Laudermilch classified about three-quarters of the attacks VeriSign
sees on its customers' networks as "sport" attacks -- those done by
amateur hackers trying to see what damage they can do. And while only
about 5 percent of the attacks Laudermilch sees would be classified as
motivated by politics or a foreign government, companies need to be
prepared when and if more of those kinds of attacks come, because
enemies of the U.S. are strongly motivated by hate, he said.

"I'm not trying to be too negative, but we're dealing with a
completely different type of intelligence than some of the massively
successful attacks we've seen on the Internet recently," Laudermilch
said.

The SQL Slammer worm, the Sobig-F worm and the Blaster worm, all of
which hit in 2003, were relatively simple attacks, and many companies
recovered within hours or days, although the damage still ran into the
billions of dollars. The ability to catch these attacks is a kind of
"criminal Darwinism," in which unsophisticated attackers are easily
spotted, Laudermilch said, but cyberterrorism may not be so easy to
recover from.

"We're good at catching the attackers who aren't so bright," he added.
"But are we catching the more complex attacks? Are we catching the
more stealthy attacks?"

To combat the potential of cyberterrorism, companies must pay
attention to several areas, Laudermilch added. Even though many U.S.
companies continue to cut or hold off hiring new staff, they need to
focus on security knowledge and intelligence and effective use of
intelligence, he said. Most U.S. companies fail in those two areas, he
said.

Many companies do not have processes in place to even keep track of
all the computers on their networks, he said, and U.S. companies are
often unwilling to share their security problems with others. He
called for more sharing of security data as a way for more companies
to understand cyberattacks.

Companies often buy a host of security products, including firewalls,
virus protection and intrusion detection systems, but they don't
understand all the functionality those products provide, Laudermilch
said. Companies often don't buy products that help them make sense of
their security scans or data, or they don't take full advantage of
those tools, he added. Many companies buy firewall products, spend a
few hours setting them up, and rarely pay attention to them again, he
said.

"The problem is once they select this technology, few people spend the
time it takes to understand everything that product can do for them,"
he said. "Making the best use of this technology relies on your
ability to take what these tools give you and turn it into
intelligence."
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