US unable to guard against cyber attacks: Intel director Blair
Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair testified Wednesday of the growing sophistication of cyber attacks. He also said that foreign terrorist groups are using the Internet to organize attacks, give instructions, and arrange financing.
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The threat to US companies is apparent from Google’s recent claim that China tried to hack into dissident e-mail accounts on its servers. The Washington Post reported Thursday that Google is teaming up with the National Security Agency to analyze the recent case. While figuring out who was behind the attacks is nearly impossible, the goal now is to better defend Google's networks. James Mulvenon, director of the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis at Defense Group Inc., a national-security firm, told the Los Angeles Times the case represented “a watershed moment in the cyber war.”Skip to next paragraph
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"Before, the Chinese were going after defense targets to modernize the country's military machine. But these intrusions strike at the heart of the American innovation community."
An exclusive report by the Monitor last month that major US oil firms Marathon Oil, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips were bleeding information to an extent beyond their knowledge hints at the wide range of hacker targets – and the high level of vulnerability.
Network convergence, or the melding of voice, video, and data over a common network, should be nearly complete on a national scale within the next five years, he noted. But this convergence creates new opportunities for cyberattacks that could affect other parts of the country's infrastructure. Channel consolidation, or the ability to grab data on an individual through emails, search engines, social networks, and geotagging, increases the risk that our personal information and privacy can be exploited.
On how to address the problem, the US intelligence chief was less than optimistic, saying there was no way to fully safeguard information. “But he feels confident that an increased focus on and greater investment in security can help the US better meet this challenge,” CNET said.
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