Cyber adversaries could 'flip switch' to attack, experts warn House members
Mar 20, 2013 (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
COUNTRIES THAT DEVELOP DEFENSIVE -- and offensive -- strategies for fighting computer attacks can gain a huge advantage, a top cybersecurity expert told federal lawmakers Wednesday.
Hacking by China and Russia is "brazen, wholesale and significant," and it can quickly be converted to a malicious attack, said Frank J. Cilluffo, co-director of the Cyber Center for National and Economic Security at George Washington University.
"Both our national security and our nation's economic security are at risk," Cilluffo told members of the Homeland Security subcommittee on cybersecurity, infrastructure protection and security technologies. "It's literally as easy as flipping a switch to attack."
Smaller, less sophisticated countries such as Iran can be a threat too, Cilluffo said. He called North Korea a wild card because it has the intent to cause cyber attacks and growing computer capability.
The committee, chaired by Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., is hearing about cyber threats from China, Russia and Iran. Computer attacks represent a "new battlefield," Meehan warned, calling Iran a "potentially irrational actor" and Russia a cyber threat with the capability and the intent to attack its neighbors Estonia and Georgia.
"I view cyberspace as a new, modern Cold War battlefield between the U.S. and Russia, and we must prepare and respond appropriately," Meehan said.
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