In May of 2010 we reported that a well-coordinated cyber-attack could cripple the entire country in a matter of 15 minutes. We are totally dependent on inter-networks to perform even the most mundane of day-to-day tasks. Our enemies know this, and they have been actively testing our defense capabilities for years. Over the last couple of decades foreign governments, namely China and Russia, as well as loosely organized hacker groups, have been taking advantage of malware, trojans, trapdoors and backdoors in public and private networks as they map our strengths and vulnerabilities.
According to General Keith Alexander, commander of U.S. cyber command, the threat to the national security of the United States is only getting worse, and a massive cyber attack could strike at anytime:
The general in charge of U.S. cyberwarfare forces said Tuesday that future computer-based combat likely will involve electronic strikes that cause widespread power outages and even physical destruction of thousand-ton machines.
Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the new U.S. Cyber Command, also said that massive losses of private and public data in recent years to computer criminals and spies represent the largest theft in history.
Threats posed by cyber-attacks on computer networks and the Internet are escalating from large-scale theft of data and strikes designed to disrupt computer operations to more lethal attacks that destroy entire systems and physical equipment.
Source: Washington Post