by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Dec 6, 2011
A US adversary would currently be unable to bring down the entire US electrical grid using cyber weapons but such a scenario is conceivable within two to five years, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday.
"Today, the likelihood that a nation-state or any actor is going to knock down the entire electrical grid of a country, of the United States let's say, is very remote," retired General James Cartwright said.
"That's probably two to five years off," Cartwright said during a panel discussion at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies here.
"It's a very difficult thing to do," he said of disabling the entire US electrical grid. "It's not some 19-year-old sitting at a keyboard."
Cartwright, who retired as a four-star general from the Marine Corps earlier this year and now holds the Harold Brown chair in defense policy studies at CSIS, said cyber weapons can potentially have devastating consequences.
"A nuclear weapon could knock out the electrical grid in any city," he said. "Cyber could knock it out in the entire country -- in milliseconds.
"And so that's the worry, that it could progress in that direction," he said. "And now you really are talking about an equivalency of a weapon of mass destruction. And how do we handle that? What do we do about that?"
"You can see a direction in which this threat could move," he said.
Cartwright also said that while the United States possesses cyber warfare capabilities they would probably be employed only as a "supporting arm" in the event of a conventional conflict.
"It's really more in the venue of a supporting arm like artillery or something like that," he said.
Cyberwar - Internet Security News - Systems and Policy Issues
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Raytheon Acquires Cybersecurity Firm Pikewerks
Garland, TX (SPX) Dec 06, 2011
Raytheon has acquired Pikewerks Corporation, a privately held company, to further extend Raytheon's capabilities to defend against sophisticated cybersecurity threats facing customers in the intelligence community, Department of Defense and commercial organizations. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction will not materially impact Raytheon's total company sales or ear ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|