Is the Hacking Threat To National Security Overblown?

Is the Hacking Threat To National Security Overblown?
Is the Hacking Threat To National Security Overblown?

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By Ryan Singel
Threat Level
June 3, 2009

Is hacking a real threat to the United States or is it just the latest 
overblown threat to national security, whose magnitude is being 
exaggerated in order to expand government agencies=E2=80=99 budgets and powers?

That=E2=80=99s the question asked by Threat Level editor Kevin Poulsen at a 
panel in Computers, Freedom and Privacy in Washington, D.C. Wednesday. 
And it=E2=80=99s important because the government is spending billions of 
dollars on computer security, and President Obama is elevating 
cyber-security to a national priority, using language that makes even 
security experts wince.

Amit Yoran, a former Bush Administration cybersecurity czar, argues the 
answer is easy.

=E2=80=9CIs hacking a national security threat?,=E2=80=9D Yoran said. =E2=80=9CThe one word 
answer is yes.=E2=80=9D

As proof, Yoran pointed to stories about the denial-of-service attacks 
in Estonia, attacks on government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and the 
recently reported breach of defense contractor computers that let 
hackers get at information on the Joint Strike Fighter.


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