The Rand Corporation released a report this week called "Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar." This report -- like so many others -- called upon the United States government, military, law enforcement and the private sector to accelerate efforts to defend against acts of cyber aggression. And this report, like so many others, concluded that the U.S. and other highly computerized nations are in great danger of a coordinated cyber attack. U.S. military officials have openly acknowledged that their networks are scanned or attacked millions of times a day.
By my count there have been 18 bills that have been introduced and rumors of 2 additional ones coming soon, all that address the threat of cyber attack, all supported by expert testimony about the risks. Some bills would protect the electric grid and require the public and private sector infrastructure providers to secure and protect their networks and computer systems. Other bills focus on protecting the computer systems of federal agencies. While still other proposed legislation addresses public awareness and technical education as well as raises the planned White House cyber adviser (AKA Cyber Czar) to a Cabinet-level position.
A number of studies and reports by experts have stated that between 10 and 15 percent of computers have been compromised, and that means millions of compromised computers are in operation within the United States. How many times must experts in this area tell us that the U.S. has to increase and accelerate efforts to protecting critical infrastructure from cyber attacks? Some believe it will take a cyber 911 before Washington responds to what has been said that one aspect of this threat, cyber terrorism, poses the same threat to national security as a missile attack.