Home > NATO, USA > U.S. can be completely paralyzed as a result of cyber attacks by 600 hackers

U.S. can be completely paralyzed as a result of cyber attacks by 600 hackers

June 25, 2010

The following article is reprinted with permission from Kavkaz Center, Caucasus Emirate news agency.

U.S. can be completely paralyzed as a result of cyber attacks by 600 hackers
©  Kavkaz Center
June 25, 2010  12:01

Many experts at the NATO conference on cyber security held in Tallinn agree that the United States can be completely paralyzed as a result of cyber attacks.

To prepare cyber attacks on a leading power of the Western world would be possible within two years, for a low price – for that the enemies will need only 600 hackers and $50 million, the haker.ru reports.

Other experts, however, advise not to panic. For example, Bruce Schneier, a U.S. specialist on cyber-warfare, is not inclined to overplay the threat of cyber attacks.

“Building tanks does not mean you fear you could be overrun by a military force right now. It pays to build tanks and it pays to prepare for cyberwar, but I don’t believe that’s a fear we should worry about right now”, Schneier said.

“It’s very easy to invent scare scenarios but this does not mean we should actually be scared by them,” he said.

Schneier said, however, that it time to prepare now, so that sci-fi style scenarios never become reality.

“Cybercrime and cyber-espionage are topics that can’t be ignored,” said Melissa Hathaway, a former U.S. cyber tsar, at a conference in Estonia organized by the trans-Atlantic alliance’s IT defense unit.

“Key infrastructure, including power stations, have become vulnerable due to their dependence on Internet connections,” Hathaway said.

“There is no national security in the modern world without economic security, and both companies and private citizens should also realize the depth of the problem”, she added.

Charlie Miller – a security expert who launches test assaults on IT systems – stressed that cyberwar is far easier than a conventional attack.

“It would take two years and cost less than 50 million dollars a year to prepare a cyberattack that could paralyse the United States,” Miller warned.

Such an attack could involve fewer than 600 hackers, he added.

Gloria Craig, a British expert on IT-security, believes that NATO countries have not taken into account the Estonian experience.

“It’s still hard to convince the public that a cyberattack is an attack, when people don’t see a smoking gun,” Craig said.

“As of now NATO is not prepared for a global cyberattack,” she added.

It is to be recalled that a K-5 system, designed to counter cyber-attacks on key units of the country’s infrastructure, have been put into operation in Estonia in August 2008, after an attack by hackers from Russian servers, which resulted from provocation arranged by Russian secret services in connection with the transfer to another site of a monument to bloody Russian invaders in 2007.

Computer attacks by Russian cyber terrorists lasted for several weeks, information networks of banks, government departments, private businesses, media and universities, were targeted by the cyber department of the international terrorist group of the KGB in Moscow.

A complex system K-5 transformed Estonia into a leader in technologies of IT-safety, and it fully complies with the strategy of development of NATO, which provides protection from new asymmetrical threats, such as information attacks.

Department of Monitoring
Kavkaz Center


Categories: NATO, USA