Repelling Cyberattacks on Critical Infrastructure Requires
Last week U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta warned that critical infrastructure such as power grids or chemical plants could be inactivated or destroyed by a cyber attack, and he pledged that the U.S. would “defend the nation in cyberspace” as it does on land and sea, in air and space.
But with the art of cyber detection and defense lagging far behind the sophistication of attacks (see “Hey, Hackers: Defense Is Sexy, Too”), the U.S. and other nations appear largely unprepared to rapidly detect and respond to an attack on critical infrastructure. That would make it difficult to respond with “decisive action” as Panetta promised, or even to know whom to retaliate against.
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