Ex-Spy Chief: Get Ready for 'Cyber 9/11'
Mike McConnell says we've had our warning
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 3, 2012 2:35 PM CST
In this Sept. 18, 2007 file photo, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson, File)

(Newser) – First, it was defense secretary Leon Panetta warning of a "cyber Pearl Harbor." Now, the former director of national intelligence says it's time to prepare for "the cyber equivalent of the World Trade Center attack," the Financial Times reports. Recent attacks on big banks like Wells Fargo, as well as a cyber-strike on data held by Saudi oil company Saudi Aramco, should be a "wake-up call," says Mike McConnell, who served presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. "We have had our 9/11 warning."

A cyberattack on our banking system and infrastructure could be disastrous: "All of a sudden, the power doesn’t work, there's no way you can get money, you can't get out of town, you can't get online, and banking, as a function to make the world work, starts to not be reliable," he said. "Now, that is a cyber Pearl Harbor, and it is achievable." Fortunately, a likely executive order from President Obama will "at least get the government players and agencies working together," says McConnell.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
GeorgeK
Dec 4, 2012 9:33 AM CST
This is news? Stuxnet is history. Shredded the Iranian infrastructure. What do you think Vladimir Putin is doing when he's not kissing little boys or watching his adversary drink the Polonium tea (radioactive) in a swank London hotel? What's the ex KGB head doing? Probably over at Kaspersky Labs with a bag full of gold bars planning the takeover of the global banking system and kicking our infrastructure in the nuts. The future does not bode well.
JimW
Dec 4, 2012 2:26 AM CST
I have the perfect protection. It's called an off switch.
Neziah
Dec 4, 2012 12:39 AM CST
It'll be like 911 times a hundred. That's right 91,100...