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Former CIA official draws parallels between terrorism, cyber-threats

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 03 Aug 2011 23:25 User comments (4)

Former CIA official draws parallels between terrorism, cyber-threats Former counter-terrorism official warns that same sceptical mindset is being applied to cyber-attacks.
Speaking at the Black Hat conference, former CIA counter-terrorism official Cofer Black recalled the attitude toward al Queda by the United States in the 1990s. He described it as a biased view that while Osama bin Laden was known to fund terrorism, his network did not initiate attacks itself.

He said a problem back then with "validation" applies now to the cyber-threat. Judging the severity of the threat and who is behind it can be tricky at least. In October 2000, the USS Cole was bombed in a Yemeni port, and the demand for validation that it was done on the orders of bin Laden took up to five months, far too long, according to Black.

"Validation of threat and attack will come to your world," he told the audience at the Black Hat conference. He said there was a lack of appreciation for how much of a thread al Queda states before September 11, 2001, and said decision makers now are in the same boat. "They hear it but they don't believe it."

Black said that Stuxnet was an example of cyber-warfare carried out by a nation (suggesting the obvious effort and cost of developing and deploying Stuxnet points at a state operation). "The Stuxnet attack is the Rubicon of our future," he said.

Black's comments come after McAfee revealed a list of uncovered cyber-attacks against political establishments and international organizations stemming back five years, all from a single "state actor." While McAfee opted not to mention the state, other experts who have examined McAfee's research point the finger or blame at Beijing.

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4 user comments

14.8.2011 0:27

"Black said that Stuxnet was an example of cyber-warfare carried out by a nation" Stuxnet is just like terrorism...and he would know...because he was a part of the government that created it.

24.8.2011 20:06

What could the attempt to link terrorism to so many things, do for the government? Hmm... I wonder.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Aug 2011 @ 22:14

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

35.8.2011 4:26

the government obviously wants everything classed as terrorism so they can lock people up for longer without a trial and treat them badly.If they can prove someone is a terrorist and is killing millions of people shoot that in the head (like they did to bin laden).No point in locking them up for years at tax payers expense and torturing them (like they did to david hicks).

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

45.8.2011 9:48

He is a blow hard and isn't putting blame where it belongs on his own court. 911 they knew was going to happen or they should have as they had the intel. It was a breakdown and politics within the many organizations that caused them to fail at prevention. This is nothing new the same thing happened back prior to Pearl Harbor where the US had intel that an attack was imminent but again nothing was done. History repeats and we seem to never learn from it, what a shame. But when you want to keep your job and you have screwed up point your finger everywhere other than at yourself in order to keep your job.

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