Black Ice: Cyber-terrorism and the Private Sector
Corporate America is still in denial about the threat of cyber-terrorist attacks against critical facilities in the energy, telecommunications and financial industries.
Computerworld - Editor's Note: Dan Verton's book gets its title from an emergency planning exercise for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, code-named Black Ice. In the simulation, a major ice storm combines with the disruption of utility computer systems to produce regional blackouts, Internet outages, cell phone overload and telephone failures. It demonstrated the devastating effect of physical and electronic attacks on the power grid and everything that depends on power, including computer systems. An earlier exercise, run by the National Security Agency (NSA) and code-named Eligible Receiver, was equally chilling:
Prior to launching their attacks on June 9, 1997, officials briefed the team of 35 NSA computer hackers on the ground rules. They were told in no uncertain terms that they were allowed to use only software tools and other hacking utilities that could be downloaded freely from the Internet through any one of the hundreds and possibly thousands of hacker Web sites. In other words, the Pentagon's own arsenal of secret offensive information warfare tools, which the NSA certainly had, could not be used. And while they were allowed to penetrate various Pentagon networks, the Red Team was prohibited from breaking any U.S. laws. The primary target was the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, which is responsible for all military contingencies and operations conducted in the Pacific theater, including the tension-wracked Korean peninsula.
The results of the exercise stunned all who were involved. The NSA Red Team, using hacking tools that were available to anybody on the Internet, could have crippled the U.S. military's command and control system
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