Homeland Security Chief Warns of Cyber 9/11


In a recent speech at the Wilson Center, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned that a "cyber 9/11" could happen "imminently" and that critical infrastructure is extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks.

"'We shouldn't wait until there is a 9/11 in the cyber world. There are things we can and should be doing right now that, if not prevent, would mitigate the extent of damage,' said Napolitano ... She urged Congress to pass legislation governing cyber security so the government could share information with the private sector to prevent an attack on infrastructure, much of which is privately owned," writes Reuters' Deborah Charles.

"Richard Clarke, an adviser to both Clinton and Bush, often warned about the possibility of a digital Pearl Harbor, a phrase that has become something of a cliche in security circles," notes Threatpost's Dennis Fisher. "Now, Napolitano is picking up the baton, saying that better cybersecurity legislation is needed and that the United States' critical infrastructure -- utilities, air traffic control, financial systems -- are vulnerable to major attacks."

"Last August, a cybersecurity bill was blocked in Congress after facing opposition from the US Chamber of Commerce amidst concerns that it would be 'too burdensome for corporations,'" writes The Next Web's Ken Yeung. "Soon after, the Obama administration said that the President was thinking about an executive order to implement data being shared between the public and private sector."