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Cyber Security And The Threat To National Security

1974 words - 8 pages

It is difficult to define cyberculture because its boundaries are uncertain and applications to certain circumstances can often be disputed. The common threads of defining cyberculture is a culture which has evolved and continues to evolve from the use of computer networks and the internet and is guided by social and cultural movements reflective of advancements in scientific and technological information. It is not a unified culture but rather a culture that exists in cyberspace and is a compilation of numerous new technologies and capabilities, used by diverse people in diverse real – world locations. Cyberculture, a twentieth century phenomena, has brought challenges unlike any other that the United States has seen in the areas of cyber security and its impact on our most critical institutions. This presentation will focus on the aforementioned three entities where national security is in jeopardy in part due to cyberculture and its intentional use for disruptive and destructive purposes. Breaches of security to the United States Department of Defense, the national power grid and the Chamber of Commerce are very real and omnipresent.

The Defense Department made an admission of the first major cyber attack upon its systems in August 2010. It was revealed that the attack actually took place in 2008 and was accomplished byplacing a malicious code into the flash drive of a U.S. military laptop. “The code spread undetected on both classified and unclassified systems, establishing what amounted to a digital breachhead.” (2) This quote , attributed to then Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III , is just part of the shocking revelations that were disclosed in his speech made on July 14, 2011. Lynn said that “ over the past few years, all manner of data has been stolen, some of it mundane , some of it concerning our most sensitive systems, including aircraft avionics, surveillance technologies, satellite communications, and network security protocols.” (3) He also acknowledged that the Defense Department lost 24,000 files in cyber attacks by foreign intruders in March 2011. He went on to say that “the department listed cyber space as the “fifth domain” of warfare, after air, land, sea and space.” (4) The department is dependent on cyber space to function and it should be noted that the Department of Defense operates 15,000 networks with more than 7 millions devices in hundreds of locations around the world. A stark admission by the Defense Department is that “ our reliance on cyber space stands in stark contrast to the inadequacy of our cyber security.” (5) In summation, Lynn projected that assessment of cyber attacks will be significant in future conflicts with major nations, rogue states and terrorist groups. It is noteworthy to add that a remark by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that same July date stated “attackers probe pentagon networks millions of times every day looking for classified...

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