Suche innerhalb des Archivs / Search the Archive All words Any words

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[] DMN 13.2.02: Ashcroft Warns About Cyberattacks,

Dallas Morning News
February 13, 2002

Ashcroft Warns About Cyberattacks

Attorney General calls for more protection of critical infrastructure=20

By Alan Goldstein, The Dallas Morning News=20

AUSTIN =AD U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft warned Tuesday that potential=
 terrorist invasions of computer networks could be just as dangerous as=
 attacks on physical places, saying that more needs to be done to protect=
 the nation's so-called critical infrastructure.=20

"A well-planned physical attack can permanently destroy essential facilities=
 in a matter of minutes," Mr. Ashcroft told corporate and government=
 technology managers gathered in Austin.=20

"While cyberattacks may be launched from a greater distance, and may be=
 harder to detect, the effects of such attacks can prove equally=
 devastating," he said.=20

"Picture, for example, a computer attack on a chemical plant, resulting in=
 the release of huge amounts of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere or into=
 our water. The result would be catastrophic."=20

Mr. Ashcroft was the featured speaker at a two-day conference at the Texas=
 State Capitol aimed at improving communication in key sectors that provide=
 critical infrastructure, including transportation, energy, water, banking=
 and emergency services.=20

"It's the central nervous system for society," said Texas Attorney General=
 John Cornyn, one of the hosts of the conference, which had been scheduled=
 originally for mid-September but was postponed after the terrorist attacks.=

Now, the conference is intended to be the first of a four-part series=
 highlighting lessons learned from local responses to the attacks five=
 months ago.=20

Working together=20

Many of the speakers on Tuesday pressed the need for cooperation between the=
 public and private sectors to police the Internet, a network that in the=
 few years of the dot-com frenzy evolved from a curiosity into a main artery=
 of the U.S. economy.=20

For all the advantages of the Internet's open design, officials have grown=
 increasingly concerned that the network makes all kinds of basic systems=
 more vulnerable to adversaries.=20

The U.S. critical infrastructure is fragile, in part because of its=
 interdependence, and enemies have grown increasingly capable of using=
 technology as a weapon, said Richard Clarke, special advisor to President=
 Bush for cyberspace security.=20

"Stop thinking the Internet is where you get e-mail or buy a book," Mr.=
 Clarke said.=20

"It's the network of networks. And it was not designed to have the entire=
 economy of the United States built onto it. ... We need to be hardened=
 against attack."=20

Businesses' role=20

Businesses spend far too little on technology security, Mr. Clarke said,=
 citing research that shows companies generally commit more resources to=
 serving their employees coffee.=20

It's too late to try to shift the information back to private networks, Mr.=
 Clarke said. Instead, software companies can have the greatest impact if=
 they pay more attention to security, making future products more resistant=
 to tampering.=20

Some corporate technology managers said it is difficult to know what kinds=
 of security efforts deserved their highest priorities.=20

Electronic mail probably represents the primary vulnerability for most=
 organizations, said Steven Ruegnitz, a managing director for Morgan Stanley=
 Dean Witter & Co., the financial services giant.=20

He said Morgan Stanley, whose detailed disaster planning helped spare nearly=
 all of the firm's 3,700 employees in the World Trade Center complex, is=
 "draconian" about stripping file attachments off e-mails to protect its=
 computer networks.=20

Even if the information infrastructure is delicate, Americans responded in=
 crisis with strength and flexibility, said Richard Broome, vice president=
 for corporate affairs at Hertz Corp., the car-rental company.=20

'Plan for everything'=20

Hertz had to scramble on Sept. 11 to adjust its business for an entirely=
 different kind of demand =AD cross-country rentals for airline passengers=
 who were stranded when planes were grounded nationwide.=20

Customers headed for the rental counters, and the company served them =AD=
 sometimes pairing up people who didn't know each other to take drives that=
 would last for several days.=20

"We were completely unprepared for the possibility of a nationwide shutdown=
 of the airlines," Mr. Broome said. "Now we know we have to plan for everyth=

Liste verlassen: 
Mail an infowar -
 de-request -!
- infopeace -
 de mit "unsubscribe" im Text.