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Friday, January 25, 2013

Cyber attack is imminent, says DHS Secretary Napolitano

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke at the Wilson Center [on 14 Jan 2013] and said that a cyber attack could happen “imminently.”  Jane Harman — director, president, and CEO of the Wilson Center — asked, “What would a cyber 9/11 look like and how soon could it happen?”  The secretary of defense has, I have, the Attorney General has, the Chair of the Joint Chiefs has, saying, ‘Look, we shouldn’t wait until there is a 9/11 in the cyber world.  There are things we can and should be doing right now that, if not prevent, would mitigate the extent of damage that could be caused.’”

“Really in the cyber world, myself, Bob Mueller — the head of the FBI, and Keith Alexander — General Alexander — the head of the NSA, have worked very closely together to develop playbooks and to really ascertain who has what roles and what responsibilities in different types of scenarios,” Napolitano said.

In “civilian space” — described as the dot-coms and dot-orgs of the internet — she said “our ability to detect, prevent, and mitigate is materially based on whether we know something has occurred.”

According to the Associated Press, President Obama wrote an executive order that would allow DHS to share cyber-threat information, gathered by the government, with businesses involved in critical infrastructure.

NBC News reported that President Obama is expected to sign the order and that it “would set up a voluntary system to help protect some critical infrastructure and offer incentives to companies that participate.  But without a new law, companies cannot be granted any kind of legal immunity for sharing information with the government and within the industry about potential threats.”


Posted on 01/25