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When Computers Attack
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times


New York Times, June 24, 2007
Posted: June 27th, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/24/weekinreview/24schwartz.ht...

Anyone who follows technology or military affairs has heard the predictions for more than a decade. Cyberwar is coming. Although the long-announced, long-awaited computer-based conflict has yet to occur, the forecast grows more ominous with every telling: an onslaught is brought by a warring nation, backed by its brains and computing resources; banks and other businesses in the enemy states are destroyed; governments grind to a halt; telephones disconnect. Industrial remote-control technologies known as Scada systems, for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition ... allow remote monitoring and control of operations like manufacturing production lines and civil works projects like dams. So security experts envision terrorists at a keyboard remotely shutting down factory floors or opening a dams floodgates to devastate cities downstream. But how bad would a cyberwar really be especially when compared with the blood-and-guts genuine article? And is there really a chance it would happen at all? Whatever the answer, governments are readying themselves for the Big One. The United States is arming up. Robert Elder, commander of the Air Force Cyberspace Command, told reporters ... that his newly formed command, which defends military data, communications and control networks, is learning how to disable an opponents computer networks and crash its databases. We want to go in and knock them out in the first round, he said, as reported on Military.com.


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