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The FBI and other federal agencies are painfully aware of the risk of cyber attacks, including threats from terrorist organizations

The FBI is cautious of potential cyber attacks from organized terror groups, noting the increasing use of the internet to spread their messages.

Beyond simply spreading propaganda, U.S. authorities are worried that terrorists may aim to disrupt U.S. infrastructure by using cyber attacks. Furthermore, without the direct capability to carry out their own attacks, terrorists could look to work with hacker groups or foreign governments.

During a Senate Appropriations subcommittee earlier in the week, FBI Director Robert Mueller had this to say, "While to date terrorists have not used the Internet to launch a full-scale cyber attack, we cannot underestimate their intent. At the point in time of an intrusion, you don't know whether it's going to be a country, a terrorist or the 18-year-old kid down the block."

After the subcommittee concluded, Mueller spoke with Senators about the cyber risks currently facing the United States. The closed-door meeting likely focused on potential targets foreign terror groups would like to compromise, including the U.S. power grid, banking institutions, and government servers.

White House National Security Adviser John Brennan has worked with security analysts seeking more cooperation between the government and the US private sector. Government secrets are always at risk of online theft, but US companies face corporate espionage and costly downtime when targeted by cyber attacks.

The U.S. government has been on higher alert of foreign threats, growing weary of attacks from Chinese cyber forces looking to compromise western technologies.  Iran also claimed it hacked a downed U.S. drone, while splintered groups of hackers are suspected of operating for the Russian government.

To battle such a major threat, there are multiple competing bills aimed towards enhancing a still lackluster US cyber security force.

Under the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, the Department of Homeland Security would be given more influence in the development and testing of cyber initiatives. Threat assessment and information reporting would be covered by the SECURE IT Act, while the National Information Sharing Organization would include guidelines for more fluid cooperation between federal agencies.

However, partisan bickering from the Democrats and Republicans negatively influences the government's cyber security efforts.

Sources: CNN, The Info Boom



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Current U.S. government worst in history
By Beenthere on 3/16/2012 10:57:30 AM , Rating: 4
Our current government is a friggin disgrace and embarrassment. These criminals should all be hung by their thumbs for a month to get their attention.

Our energy and terrorist policies are an insult and could only be created by incompetent, immoral bureaucrats.




By ClownPuncher on 3/16/2012 2:35:42 PM , Rating: 3
They would just use tax money to fund a behavioural modification chip that reduces or eliminates your desire to hang them by their thumbs.


RE: Current U.S. government worst in history
By NellyFromMA on 3/16/2012 3:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
You might not want to hear this, but blame the constituents. How can we expect elected officials to be responsible individuals if society by far and large isn't responsible either. I'm sure everyone will be quick to call foul, but it's the damn truth.


By JediJeb on 3/16/2012 3:48:37 PM , Rating: 3
It has to be true, because the crooks could not get elected if someone does not vote for them. Problem is, when you ask around it seems they did get elected with no one voting for them since everyone denies having voted for them.


By Jeffk464 on 3/16/2012 9:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
Why do they call it "terrorist", it sounds like a perfectly legitimate form of espionage to me. If any of our adversaries figure out a way to pull it off its perfectly within the realm of acceptability.


By TSS on 3/17/2012 11:07:08 PM , Rating: 2
Incompetent? Hardly. You just have to look at their point of view, and their interests. And it's not the good of the american people.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadat...

This thing is already being built. I'm not one to belive in consipiracy theories. But i do belive in conspiracies.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/enterprise-just-4-da...

One has to wonder. At what point is it no longer a theory?


By Drakkus on 3/22/2012 9:01:04 AM , Rating: 2
So, why hasn't the FBI arrested our current legislative bodies? I'm feeling pretty damned terrorized by my own gov.


Idiots
By WinstonSmith on 3/16/2012 11:18:52 AM , Rating: 3
Previous column here:

U.S., Israel Opened up Cyberwarfare "Pandora's Box" with Stuxnet

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=24155

And I doubt that the US was involved. Sounds more like something Israel would do.




RE: Idiots
By Crazyeyeskillah on 3/19/2012 10:40:41 AM , Rating: 2
israel is a satelite state of the US, Noam chomsky can explain this to you. Anything Israel/Turkey does is simply US calculation and obedient dogs following the masters orders. It's VERY PUBLIC INFORMATION.


By Magnus909 on 3/16/2012 6:14:49 PM , Rating: 1
Wonder what the Us government will come up with this time?

I mean, now they have exactly the same type of excuse that lead to such wonderful things as the "patriot act" and the special rules that applied to Guantanamo Bay.
US in itself is becoming a Gitmo Nation where special rules only apply. Constitution? Forget about it!

I bet they are cooking up something equally bad for you unlucky Americans.
And how many years ago didn't the word "cyber" become old fashioned?

I'm really glad that I don't live in the US.




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