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In Debate, Audience Finds that the Cyberwar Threat Is Not Exaggerated


A panel of four leading security experts recently held a debate about the threat of cyberwarfare. The discussion emphasized that the threat is indeed very serious.

Electronic Privacy Information Center executive director Mark Rotenberg and BT security technologist Bruce Schneier both presented the argument that the cyberwar threat has been grossly distorted, while former U.S. Director of National Intelligence John McConnell stressed that the threat is real despite the hype. "I'm talking about real destruction of data on an order that we have not seen," he said.

The fourth panelist, Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, cited the potential of a cyberwar directed against the United States, and noted examples such as GhostNet, which infiltrated 1,300 computers in more than 100 nations in 2009. "I am concerned that if the responses to these threats are too corporate or too military, they won't be effective," he said.

The panelists concurred that a core issue of the cyberwar debate is the question surrounding the term's definition. "You have to believe that one country is trying to destabilize another" in order to have a cyberwar, Rotenberg said.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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