Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cyber Security Hype

From the Wall Street Journal,

Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven't sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.

This isnt really news. As we've discussed in class, similar reports have surfaced in the past few years.  As there is not much new in this WSJ story, my cynicism of politics on Capitol Hill leads me to believe that this story was planted by people interested in pushing the Cybersecurity Act of 2009

To be clear, I do believe that there are vulnerabilities in the power grid and other critical infrastructures.  Further, I believe that hostile nation-states and non-state actors currently have the capability and intention to penetrate our critical infrastructure.  However, I am not convinced that federalizing cyber security is the answer.

UPDATE: This piece in Forbes validates my suspicion that this story was planted in order to pressure the private sector into accepting more stringent regulations.

UPDATE: Richard Stiennon from the ThreatChaos blog is in total agreement that this story is hype.

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