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Is there a Cyber war on the United States? 01282013

Computerworld stated in a posting today that a Cyber war has begun against the United States.  this war is raging here at home.  Do you agree? In the article “Unseen, all-out Cyber war on the U.S. has begun” written by Bob Violino he states the war is not like any traditional war it is not in the streets or fields, but on the internet.  We do agree with this article and this war has not just begun, it started a long time ago.  Initially it was small and did not have the impact it does today. But now that most of our lives are impacted by computers and so much is not on-line in one way or another we have begum extremely vulnerable to attacks into the system.   Our network of computers are so integrated and misunderstood by individuals outside of the industry that most people can not contemplate how intertwined everything is.   Additionally this war is not only on the US, nor is it only against government agencies. 

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Bob’s article talks about the actual war going on and the type of counterattacks, but just like a battlefield their are countless amounts of collateral damage being done too. In the article it turns to suggesting political solutions for to prevent the escalation of attacks.  However, I do not believe there is a way to completely stop this type of war. Cyber War is not only a government against government type of activity anymore. The power of the computer and internet has given a voice to some of the least expected attackers.  Cyber wars are not Democracy vs. Communism or US vs. Iraq but they include individuals who are against the US and its views, or a group like the BCA (Bangladesh Cyber Army) who will hack any organization because they do not support their agenda.  As the article continues to point out the casualties by asking who pays for clean-up, repairs and compensates customers.  What about restoring trust, and privacy. 

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This article between the lines “so to speak”  points to some of the best discussion points we have seen about the risks of networked systems.  Our own government plan to make all Health records networked is an example of a new risk for Cyber Terrorism, Power Grids, Phone Networks the list goes on.  What is the right amount of interconnection and how does this need to be evaluated.  This evaluation needs to be re-thought the idea of electronic records is great especially inside the controlled confines of an organization, but what happens when the organization is intentionally breached, while secure.  The breach here is not a violation but the ability to access records outside of the physical location.  We now have created the access or portal so what is it going to take to keep it secured.  Experience so far says it is only time until any portal can be broken into.  So why expose ourselves un-necessarily to these types of attacks. Why not just keep the records secured and not fully networked. This may seem a little “Ass Backwards” but in time of war do you just roam around with no armor or protection, or do you try to create walls, moats, bunkers and other defensive barriers to protect yourself. If the second is true than why create new ways to make your data more available and less secure?

Thought on open data during a Cyber War presented by the techies at E2 Computers and www.end2endsupport.com.  What do you think and what are you doing to protect yourself?

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