Risk
2/23/2010
04:28 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Former Intelligence Chief: U.S. Would Lose Cyberwar

Michael McConnell, former director of national intelligence, warns that the threat of a cyberattack rivals nuclear weapons in terms of seriousness.

The risk of a catastrophic cyberattack is approaching the gravity of the nuclear risk, according to the Bush administration's top spy.

"The cyber risk has become so important that, in my view, it rivals nuclear weapons in terms of seriousness," Michael McConnell, former director of national intelligence, said Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate committee on commerce, transportation, and technology.

McConnell warned in striking terms that the United States was not prepared either for cyber warfare or cyber criminals. "If the nation went to war today in a cyberwar, we would lose," he said. "We're the most vulnerable, we're the most connected, and we have the most to lose."

In addition, McConnell predicted that the United States will suffer a catastrophic cyberattack before it takes strong action, and said that America's cyber posture will be strengthened greatly after any attack. He added that the strongest action should focus on securing financial transactions and the financial sector.

He compared what should be done in the cyber world to what has already been done in the nuclear world, pushing the Senate to promote ideals of verification, data integrity, and "non-repudiation" in any cybersecurity bills the Senate decides to put forward.

The Senate has been working on such a bill for almost a year under the leadership of Sens. John Rockefeller, (D-W.V.), and Olympia Snowe (R-Me). The bill is now in its fourth draft, and according to Snowe, has been written in consultation with "hundreds" of key stakeholders.

"We need a very strong, top-level coordination," Rockefeller said at the hearing. "Too much is at stake to think that today's outdated structures are up to the task." The Rockefeller-Snowe bill would call for a comprehensive cyberstrategy, identify key roles of all important players in government-led cybersecurity efforts, and recommend that the cyber coordinator position take on a cabinet-level, Senate-confirmed role.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-0360
Published: 2014-04-23
Memory leak in Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY, when IKEv2 debugging is enabled, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via crafted packets, aka Bug ID CSCtn22376.

CVE-2012-1317
Published: 2014-04-23
The multicast implementation in Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (Route Processor crash) by sending packets at a high rate, aka Bug ID CSCts37717.

CVE-2012-1366
Published: 2014-04-23
Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY on ASR 1000 devices, when Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) tracking is enabled for IPv6, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via crafted MLD packets, aka Bug ID CSCtz28544.

CVE-2012-3062
Published: 2014-04-23
Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY, when Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) snooping is enabled, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (CPU consumption or device crash) via MLD packets on a network that contains many IPv6 hosts, aka Bug ID CSCtr88193.

CVE-2012-3918
Published: 2014-04-23
Cisco IOS before 15.3(1)T on Cisco 2900 devices, when a VWIC2-2MFT-T1/E1 card is configured for TDM/HDLC mode, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (serial-interface outage) via certain Frame Relay traffic, aka Bug ID CSCub13317.

Best of the Web