DNI: Data destruction a major cyber threat

Related Links

McConnell's speech

Malicious data destruction is one of the greatest cyber threats to the country’s stability, and preventing such attacks should be a top priority, said Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence.

The risk of hackers targeting financial transactions, transportation systems or electric power facilities for data-obliteration or data-scrambling attacks should be viewed as a bigger threat than the risk of other countries launching Web site-defacing or denial-of-service attacks, McConnell said Nov. 17 at the 2008 Military Communications Conference and Symposium in San Diego.

“We have come to the simple realization that data destruction is so much more important and a greater threat,” McConnell said. Other types of cyber attacks are also serious, but data-damage and data-obliteration attacks are akin to “destroying the data that’s the soft underbelly of what makes the nation function,” he added.

He said a data-scrambling cyber attack on a bank could devastate the bank and have a cascading negative effect on the economy as a whole.

The country’s defense efforts should include protection of banking, finance and transportation systems from cyber adversaries, McConnell said. That would include operations at the network level to quickly identity attacks and prepare defenses against them.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1986, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

  • Shutterstock image.

    Merged IT modernization bill punts on funding

    A House panel approved a new IT modernization bill that appears poised to pass, but key funding questions are left for appropriators.

  • General Frost

    Army wants cyber capability everywhere

    The Army's cyber director said cyber, electronic warfare and information operations must be integrated into warfighters' doctrine and training.

  • Rising Star 2013

    Meet the 2016 Rising Stars

    FCW honors 30 early-career leaders in federal IT.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group