Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – Cyber teams are to be deployed to defend the critical infrastructure of the United States against attacks, either from a determined hacker or an organized government, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
But the feds are missing an opportunity to include EMP in their defensive strategies.
President Barack Obama last February signed an executive order to improve cyber security to protect critical U.S. infrastructure following increased threats from determined international hackers against the U.S., especially its electrical grid.
While there has been a lot of talk, however, Congress still has not enacted legislation to put provisions of the executive order into law, including a plan to provide a way to share information including classified intelligence with industry to ensure that protection.
The administration’s decision was to create cyber teams that will be deployed worldwide to “support combatant commands in their planning process for offensive cyber capabilities.”
The teams will be deployed by 2015.
Gen. Keith Alexander, who heads Cyber Command at the Pentagon, said that some 100 cyber teams will be focused mainly on defending military networks – not attacking adversaries’ systems.
The plan also includes teams to secure U.S. private networks powering critical infrastructure of not only the U.S. electrical grid but also such other critical infrastructures as transportation and telecommunications.
It has become clear that the target of international hackers, whether orchestrated by nation-states such as North Korea, Iran or China, or others, are the nation’s critical infrastructures, particularly the electrical grid, nuclear power plants and telecommunications systems.
Other critical infrastructures include space systems, emergency services, food and water delivery, oil and natural gas pipelines, tens of thousands of miles of which crisscross the nation.
These systems are operated by automated control systems vulnerable to sabotage either from cyber attacks or electromagnetic pulse events, whether natural from the solar flares or man-made from a high-altitude nuclear explosion.
Cyber attacks on these critical infrastructures are designed to make the United States defenseless, much as an electromagnetic pulse event would following a high-altitude nuclear explosion or a direct hit from a massive solar flare.
Vulnerability from a cyber attack can be as simple as slipping a flash drive into a computer of a corporate or industrial network such as a power company, for example, and introducing malware.
In turn, the malware triggers a transformer to explode, causing almost immediate darkness.
It also could damage or destroy the servers that control the grid, causing weeks of darkness until fixed.
“A destructive attack could occur tomorrow,” according to Rep. Charles Albert “Dutch” Ruppersberger, D-Md.
According to the National Research Council, such an attack on the nation’s critical infrastructure from a cyber attack could cost government and businesses hundreds of billions of dollars.
Scientists say that if the same critical infrastructures were subjected to either a natural or man-made EMP attack, that the cost in the first year could be as much as $2 trillion and it take from four to 10 years to recover, causing death and starvation among some 160 million people.
Experts say that if the grid and other critical infrastructures can be guarded against an EMP attack, it goes a long way to protecting them from cyber attacks.
The administration took the executive order approach, because Congress until now has failed to pass cyber security legislation in 2011 and 2012.
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