Cyberattacks Exposed as a Serious Threat to U.S.

Are U.S. based systems vulnerable to Cyberattacks?

Have you ever seen any of the Hollywood movies where a large scale cyberattack against the U.S. was conducted or where a war was almost started because of a hacker? Do you ever think that this could actually happen in real life? Experts say that this could happen as it has on a smaller scale where there was a cyberattack that overwhelmed the former Soviet republic of Georgia government websites recently.

What many people do not understand about cyber attacks is that no one is coming up with a sure way to prevent them from happening. Ever since 9/11 security has been a major concern and priority in the U.S. but what is being done about the security of the U.S. computer systems and online infrastructure?

Hackers have targeted computer networks and websites for several years but large scale cyberattacks that are well coordinated is something new that we have not seen much of. One of the challenges that the U.S. faces is that this type of large-scaled attack can be initiated from anonymous sources and performed very cheaply from anywhere in the world. In the recent Georgia cyberattack, it was the implementation of botnets used to infiltrate computer systems. Botnets are automated programs or group of computers with installed software programmed to perform malicious activities online while staying undetected. In such a scenario where botnets are spread throughout a large group of computers and networks it could result in a large scaled attack against any group or country of systems.

Are U.S. based networks or government security agencies safe from cyberattacks?

Security experts will tell you that agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon are very difficult to attack or disrupt. Experts will also say that a large scale cyberattack on U.S. computer systems could do damage to transportation, industrial and electric power grid networks. Ultimately this kind of cyberattack would be handled as to avoid major conflict within the U.S. as a whole but it would be very disruptive to those directly affected. The U.S. still has a long way to go to secure certain systems. Even still, the Government Accountability Office found where the Tennessee Valley Authority has not implemented adequate cybersecurity measures especially when this company supplies power to over 8 million people in the U.S.

Do you feel safe? Are you alarmed with the fact that a cyberattack against the U.S. could directly affect you?