Friday, April 18, 2008

Cyber Attacks are like Sex: No one wants to talk about it

It's one of America's well-kept secrets - cyber attacks. No longer the pranks of computer whiz kids it is now the new espionage of the 21st Century.

Hacking into government networks has become the mantra of nation states, organized crime and the web of terrorists.

You will rarely hear about it in the news unless a major site is taken down because governments and businesses don't want to invite others; don't want to appear vulnerable or short sighted and don't want the world to know they had inferior security on their networks.

But it goes deeper - this is the espionage of the 21st Century and governments around the world are doing it on a massive scale. The NSA, CIA, FBI and Homeland Security are all actively involved in cyber security and attack prevention. It is now a matter of national security.

I have always believed that one day hackers would be powerful enough to take control of one of our country's major infrastructures like air control, electricity or the Internet. This belief spawned DARK END OF THE SPECTRUM, my high-tech thriller about a clandestine group who manage to hack into the nation's power grid and cell phone network and hold the US hostage.

My book is fiction, but more and more of it is coming true everyday. Business Week ran an in depth article in its April 21, 2008 issue "The New E-spionage Threat," about the rising attacks on America's most sensitive computer networks. Here's a quote from the article.
"The U.S. government, and its sprawl of defense contractors, have been the victims of an unprecedented rash of similar cyber attacks over the last two years, say current and former U.S. government officials. "It's espionage on a massive scale," says Paul B. Kurtz, a former high-ranking national security official."
And if you think that is scary, hackers brought down an entire country in May 2007. Tiny Estonia had to shut the Internet down throughout the country to prevent hackers from disrupting their infrastructure as reported in the September article in Wired Magazine, "Hackers Take Down the Most Wired Country in Europe."

The plot of DARK END OF THE SPECTRUM is similar only it happens in the United States. And if you don't think the threat is real read the first 100 pages of my novel by clicking here or buy the eBook at Lulu.com.

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