[ISN] Former spy chief says U.S. has had its cyber '9/11 warning'

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2012 02:20:02 -0600 (CST)

By Steven Musil
Security and Privacy
December 2, 2012

The United States faces "the cyber equivalent of the World Trade Center 
attack" unless urgent action is taken, a former U.S. intelligence chief 

John "Mike" McConnell, who served as director of the National Security 
Agency under President Clinton and then as director of national 
intelligence under George W. Bush and President Obama, told the 
Financial Times (subscription required) that such an attack would 
cripple the nation's banking system, power grid, and other essential 

"We have had our 9/11 warning. Are we going to wait for the cyber 
equivalent of the collapse of the World Trade Centers?" McConnell said, 
referring to attacks on the Web sites of major banks and a cyberattack 
earlier this year that rendered two-thirds of the computers at Saudi 
Arabian oil company useless.

U.S. officials have blamed Iran for creating the Shamoon virus, which 
was responsible for a cyberattack that infected more than 30,000 
computers at Saudi Aramco and Qatar's natural gas firm Rasgas in 
mid-August. McConnell echoed comments made in October by Defense 
Secretary Leon Panetta, who warned that the U.S. was facing the 
possibility of a "cyber-Pearl Harbor" perpetrated by foreign hackers.


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Received on Mon Dec 03 2012 - 00:20:02 PST

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