By Network World Staff
The University of New Hampshire has unveiled a tool for gauging the
level of threat any would-be attacker poses to the energy, emergency
response or other sectors of the U.S. economy and infrastructure that
rely heavily on IT and networks.
The UNH Cyber Threat Calculator was shown at the Department of Defense
Cyber Crime Conference in St. Louis in January. The calculator spits out
results after weighing a threat's intent, technological capabilities and
There are increased risks as computer networks become more integrated
with all aspects of our lives and infrastructure, said Andrew
Macpherson, director of the technical analysis group at UNH Justiceworks
 and research assistant professor of justice studies at UNH, in a
statement. "Using cyber attacks to take some type of infrastructure,
military, or civilian out of commission is, over the long run,
China and Russia are seen as being the two biggest threats to
cybersecurity in the United States, he said, but it's not clear whether
it is in their "best interest to use cyber attacks for strategic
Macpherson said it's possible an attacker might try to quietly do damage
over time rather than making a digital Pearl Harbor attack.
With approximately 85% of the cyber infrastructure owned by the private
sector, its not just a government problem, Macpherson said in a
statement. UNH expects to make the calculator available to private
industry security experts later this year.
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