By Kevin Coleman
Defense Tech Chief Cyber War Correspondent
Last week’s events combined to be perhaps the most significant series of cyber events since the Pentagon breach in November 2008. Last week Google pulled its .cn search operations, domain registrar GoDaddy publically stated its intent to leave China, and rumors began circulating that computer giant Dell may be considering leaving China as well.
If that did not make for a full week, add to it a senior U.S. military officer issued a stark warning about the Chinese cyber threat. U.S. Navy Admiral Robert Willard testifying before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee stated that U.S. Pacific Command is facing "increasingly active and sophisticated threats to our information and computer infrastructure."
Then, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair began his testimony explaining the U.S. communications network is "severely threatened" and that the government lacks the ability to "protect the country's information infrastructure.”
Add to all of that the fact that according to Steven Chabinsky, Director of the Joint Interagency Cyber Task Force, "The cyber threat can be an existential threat - meaning it can challenge our country's very existence, or significantly alter our nation's potential.” Defense Secretary Robert Gates testified up on Capitol Hill that China used the last decade to perfect cyber warfare and the threat that poses to the United States.
Add to all of the above the fact that “urgent warnings” have been circulated throughout NATO and the European Union for immediate action to be taken to protect secret intelligence material from a recent surge in cyber attacks targeting this data. Just as you think it could not become more bizarre, Hamas (YES - THAT HAMAS) issued a cyber spy warning to Palestinians accusing Israel of using the personal information people post on social networking sites to help them recruit collaborators.
With so many warnings of the growing risks of cyber terrorism, cyber espionage, cyber crime and cyber war, why is it that so many people do not believe there is a real threat?