17-Fold Increase in Cyber Attacks that Can Kill

Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency and the U.S. Cyber Command, reports a 17-fold increase in computer attacks on American infrastructure between 2009 and 2011, from criminal gangs, hackers and other nations.

We’ve gotten used to reading about smash-and-grab attacks of financial data. This is different.

Remember folks, that boring word “infrastructure” means the electrical grid, water supplies, computer and cellphone networks. Turning the “off” switch on our electricity, or messing with water quality, could kill thousands.

We’ve long argued that the Internet-based SCADA controls of much our infrastructure—including chemical plants—is just not a viable way to operate. Let’s hope this sinks in before something truly unthinkable happens.

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