Obama warns of cyber threats to US

Jul 20, 2012
US President Barack Obama walks across the tarmac to greet well-wishers upon arrival at West Palm Beach International Airport July 19, in West Palm Beach, Florida. Obama warned of cyber threats to critical US infrastructure and called on Congress to take action in an op-ed published Friday in the Wall Street Journal.

President Barack Obama warned of cyber threats to critical US infrastructure and called on Congress to take action in an op-ed published Friday in the Wall Street Journal.

"The cyber threat to our nation is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face," Obama wrote.

"Foreign governments, criminal syndicates and lone individuals are probing our financial, energy and public safety systems every day."

He cited an incident last year in which a hacker posted pictures of the internal controls of a Texas water plant, and said companies operating natural gas pipelines had also been targeted.

Obama said there had also been increasing attacks on computer systems in the nuclear and chemical industries, raising the prospect of foes targeting critical US infrastructure during war.

"In a future conflict, an adversary unable to match our military supremacy on the battlefield might seek to exploit our computer vulnerabilities here at home," Obama wrote.

"Taking down vital banking systems could trigger a financial crisis. The lack of clean water or functioning hospitals could spark a . And as we've seen in past blackouts, the loss of electricity can bring businesses, cities and entire regions to a standstill."

Obama called on Congress to pass legislation to curtail such threats, saying "it would be the height of irresponsibility to leave a digital backdoor wide open to our cyber adversaries."

"For the sake of our national and , I urge the Senate to pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and Congress to send me comprehensive legislation so I can sign it into law."

Explore further: Russia to develop cyberspace 'security' without 'total control'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

White House set to unveil cyber plan

May 12, 2011

The White House on Thursday is expected to unveil its proposal to enhance the nation's cybersecurity, laying out plans to require industry to better protect systems that run critical infrastructure like the electrical grid, ...

Obama setting up better security for computers

May 29, 2009

(AP) -- America has for too long failed to adequately protect the security of its computer networks, President Barack Obama said Friday, announcing he will name a new cyber czar to take on the job.

US senators call for cybersecurity czar

Apr 01, 2009

Two US senators introduced legislation on Wednesday aimed at creating a powerful national cybersecurity advisor who would report directly to the president.

US Senate in new cybersecurity push

Feb 15, 2012

US senators, warning of potentially catastrophic cyberattacks, introduced a bill Tuesday aimed at protecting critical infrastructure such as power, water and transportation systems.

Recommended for you

Twitter-funded lab to seek social media insights

7 hours ago

A new Twitter-funded research project unveiled Wednesday, with access to every tweet ever sent, will look for patterns and insights from the billions of messages sent on social media.

Facebook makes peace with gays over 'real names'

9 hours ago

Facebook on Wednesday vowed to ease its "real names" policy that prompted drag queen performers to quit the social network and sparked wider protests in the gay community and beyond.

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

kochevnik
5 / 5 (1) Jul 20, 2012
LOL US and Israel created the Flame virus, which makes them the biggest source of state-sponsored cyberterrorism by their own definition.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jul 20, 2012
US and Israel created the Flame virus, which makes them the biggest source of state-sponsored cyberterrorism by their own definition.

Unlikely as the US has never accepted any global definition of what a terrorist state is (because they'd fall squarely within the definition of any one of them)

The US itself, however, has over 100 different definitions of what terrorism is. So take your pick.
Skultch
5 / 5 (1) Jul 20, 2012
The war on terror is as an absurd a notion as a war on drugs. It's simple propaganda and nothing more.

That said, there are real national cybersecurity threats to all nations and there's plenty that have nothing to do with "terrorism." It's just a new-ish method of traditional geopolitical conflict. You will notice a distinct LACK of the word "terror" in the article. Bringing it up in This thread is OT, distracting, and is effectively downplaying the real issue at hand.
kochevnik
5 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2012
US has DOUBLED their military budget since the cold war ended. Military spending now exceeds a $trillion yearly. No small part of this funds 600 bases overseas to ensure some form of US presence. Once a base is established in the abroad, it is almost never closed. The air conditioning bill for these bases alone exceeds NASA's budget. What does this have to do with cyberterrorism or the war on drugs, you ask? Nothing. That's my point.