Gen. Keith B. Alexander, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency and chief of the Central Security Service, says at least 5,000 new bits of malicious code show up on the Internet every day.
Alexander, who spoke Monday at the University of Tulsa, said these constant new threats mean that simply throwing up a computer firewall and fixing things when they break isn’t good enough.
What counts as a bit? What does he consider malicious?
Already some utilities have experienced outages because of computerization. Alexander pointed out that the electric grid in the Northeast went down in 2003 because of software anomalies
Totally misleading bordering on an outright lie. The real cause was overgrown trees that fell on power lines. Software glitches may have played a cause in exacerbating the situation, but they were not the main cause. Nor were they the result of intentional attack.
“If we only protect the military networks and not the infrastructure, then we’ll have a great network that won’t be able to talk to anyone,” he said.
And here were have Cyber Command mission creep. Defending the .mil domain is not enough. Not even defending the .gov domain is enough. 5,000 “bits” of “malicious” code plus misleading statements about the 2003 blackout justify military protection of civilian infrastructure.
He added that the NSA “doesn’t go through people’s emails.”
Except for when they do. See Shane Harris’ book, The Watchers.
Alexander said his agency’s cyber activities are both defensive and offensive in nature, though he said he could not elaborate on particular offensive operations.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.