The Internet and national security

National security expert warns that the U.S. is vulnerable to cyber-attack.


NPR’s Fresh Air radio show aired another interview regarding Internet security. This past Wednesday, Fresh Air’s Terry Gross interviewed senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Mr. James Lewis. Mr. Lewis claims that the Internet will be (nay, is) the next battleground and that the U.S. is not prepared for a large-scale attack via the Internet.

Mr. Lewis states that our most critical and vulnerable system is our electric power system. (In addition to supplying power, long-distance transmission lines carry system protection and control signals. These signals are part of SCADA — Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. SCADA systems date back to the 1970s, before outside attacks were a factor, so if SCADA systems are now connected to the Internet, we may assume that they may be vulnerable.)

 

Mr. Lewis thinks that Hezbollah is likely to be a source of attacks: they have the motivation and the skills.

He concludes — as does everyone — that what’s missing is secure authentication of identity.

 

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