Coming soon: More attacks on critical infrastructure?
Secure Computing's third-quarter Internet Threat Report
predicts that 2009 will see an increase in politically motivated
attacks such as those experienced already in Estonia and Georgia
(the nation, not the state).
However, for the time being, the surreptitious theft of data
from information technology systems, as Chinese hackers are alleged
to have done in this country, is likely to remain a more serious
Cyber attacks against infrastructure haven't risen to the
level of real warfare or terrorism. Although the Estonian attacks,
suspected of having been carried out by Russian partisans in a
dispute between the nations, interfered with some online commerce,
denial-of-service attacks seldom have more than nuisance value in
disrupting some one-way communications from Web sites.
Studies indicate that the wholesale disruption of systems is
more difficult than often thought, and as systems become more
diverse, interconnected and complex, bringing them down only
becomes more difficult.
For the foreseeable future, Internet warfare is likely to remain
the domain of spooks operating under the radar rather than cyber
attackers carpet-bombing our infrastructure.
William Jackson is a senior writer of GCN and the author of the CyberEye blog.