By Emory Kale
April 23, 2009
Washington, D.C. - In the post-9/11 world, Susan Brenner, an NCR
professor of law and technology at the University of Dayton, worries
about terrorists using cybercrime for their own purposes. This week,
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told CBS News that the United States is
"under cyber-attack virtually all the time, every day" and that the
Defense Department plans to more than quadruple the number of cyber
experts it employs to ward off such attacks. This is not your grandma's
U.S. citizens have lost over $400 billion to cybercrime, according to
FBI estimates, and less than a third of cybercrimes are actually
reported. The cyberhordes are not at the gates, yet, but some people
believe that we need a wake-up call before it is too late.
Susan Brenner is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences,
American Bar Association's International Cybercrime Project and the U.S.
Department of Justice's National Forensic Science Technology Center
Digital Evidence Project. She has served on the National District
Attorneys Association's Committee on Cybercrimes and two Department of
Justice digital evidence working groups. She addressed cyber-terrorism
at the NATO Advanced Research Workshop on cyberterrorism. Her
cybercrimes Web site, law.udayton.edu/cybercrimes, was featured on "NBC
Nightly News" and she's often quoted by national media about cyberlaw
issues. She has also written a book called, "Cyberthreats: The Emerging
Fault Lines of the Nation State," published recently by Oxford
University Press, that outlines the threat facing the nation.
"With cyberthreats, it is difficult for the attacked to know the
identity of the attacker or to determine the nature of the attack -
whether war or crime or terrorism. If we don't know who is attacking,
how do we counterattack? If we don't know whether the attack is a crime
or an act of war, we don't know whether to use the police or the
military," says Brenner, noting that the enemy is often invisible and
that geography becomes irrelevant.
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