Growing cyber threat to US infrastructure: spy chief

Mar 12, 2013

The United States faces a mounting danger from cyber attacks on its infrastructure while digital espionage threatens to undercut the military's technological edge, the intelligence chief said Tuesday.

Citing "increasing risk to US ," National Intelligence Director James Clapper said in an annual report to Congress that "unsophisticated" attacks could penetrate poorly protected computer networks for or similar systems.

The threat of a large-scale digital assault that could cripple a regional power network was genuine but remained a "remote" possibility, the report said.

"We judge that there is a remote chance of a major cyber attack against US critical during the next two years that would result in long-term, wide-scale disruption of services, such as a regional power outage," it said.

The report placed more importance on cyber threats than previous years, with more words on the problem than on Islamist militants in Afghanistan.

Countries with advanced cyber capabilities, such as Russia and China, were unlikely to launch a massive digital assault on the United States unless there was a or grave crisis that put their national interests at risk, according to the report.

But "there is a risk that unsophisticated attacks would have significant outcomes due to unexpected system configurations and mistakes, or that vulnerability at one node might spill over and contaminate other parts of a networked system," it said.

Explore further: New social networks connect cooks and diners

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US, Russia plan hotline to prevent cyber war: report

Apr 27, 2012

A hotline between the United States and Russia designed to defuse misunderstandings that could trigger a nuclear conflict will likely expand to cover the potential risk of a cyber war, The Washington Post reported Friday.

US is target of massive cyber-espionage: report

Feb 11, 2013

The US intelligence community has concluded that America is the target of a massive cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening its competitiveness, The Washington Post reported.

Auditor warns Canada lagging on cyber security

Oct 23, 2012

Canada "has been slow" to set up firewalls to protect against cyber threats to critical infrastructure, leaving the nation vulnerable to crippling attacks, the auditor general warned Tuesday.

US military prepares new rules for cyber war: Panetta

Oct 12, 2012

The United States faces a growing threat of a "cyber-Pearl Harbor" and has drafted new rules for the military that would enable it to move aggressively against digital attacks, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ...

Recommended for you

Brazil enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights'

2 hours ago

Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies ...

Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law

Apr 23, 2014

Brazil's Congress on Tuesday passed comprehensive legislation on Internet privacy in what some have likened to a web-user's bill of rights, after stunning revelations its own president was targeted by US ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

frajo
not rated yet Mar 13, 2013
No just add the insight that the cyber threat is threatening every country with "critical infrastructure". And get used to the fact that no country has a monopoly on exceptionalism.
Treat the other countries as you want to be treated by them. Otherwise, you'll end up in the dustbin of history.

More news stories

SK Hynix posts Q1 surge in net profit

South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said Thursday its first-quarter net profit surged nearly 350 percent from the previous year on a spike in sales of PC memory chips.

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.

Brazil enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights'

Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies ...

Phase transiting to a new quantum universe

(Phys.org) —Recent insight and discovery of a new class of quantum transition opens the way for a whole new subfield of materials physics and quantum technologies.

Imaging turns a corner

(Phys.org) —Scientists have developed a new microscope which enables a dramatically improved view of biological cells.

Fresh hope for preventing pneumonia in the elderly

There are calls for the frail and elderly not be be overlooked for vaccines against pneumonia this winter, with UNSW research challenging conventional wisdom on immunisation effectiveness in older patients.