Cyber Attacks Might Just Be America’s Biggest National Threat

What is the biggest future threat against the U.S. and its interest? According to a recent article, it might just be a cyber attack as opposed to an actual physical attack. In light of recent cyber attacks, such as those against Lockheed Martin and the International Monetary Fund, the Pentagon recently developed a list of what it considers “permissible cyber weapons” that the U.S. Army can use if necessary. These cyber weapons even allow the use of physical force against hackers if they, in some way, represent a foreign power, among other protocols.

An example of these new weapons and the restrictions placed on them are the military’s ability to plant viruses in foreign computers, but only after presidential approval. They can, however, penetrate foreign computer networks to assess their defensive capabilities and what cybersecurity measures they could possibly use without having to go through presidential channels.

MIT recently issued a report on U.S. weaknesses against intrusions into its critical cyber infrastructure, especially in the area of protecting our power grid from attack. On a related note, oil companies have also shown a growing concern that the world’s oil supply could fall prey to a cyber attack.

Manhattan’s top federal attorney has also established a unit within his office to help combat the threats the city might face from cyber crime and to help his office prosecute hackers. And what’s worse, such activity is on the rise.

Tools such as stricter anti-hacking penalties proposed by the Obama administration for cyber criminals who endanger our nation’s security only go toward putting a stop against these specific activities. No stranger to pursuing court cases against threats to Manhattan’s, as well as our nation’s physical and cyber security, the United States Attorney only sees hacking as becoming more and more of a threat, and having the potential of becoming a major test of our law-enforcement capabilities. Doing what we can to be best prepared to meet these challenges is an important part of our nation’s cybersecurity plan.

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