Fmr. Intelligence Director: New Cyberattack May Be Worse Than 9/11

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Fmr. Intelligence Director: New Cyberattack May Be Worse Than 9/11

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Mike McConnell (former Director of National Intelligence and Director of the National Security Agency) and Fran Townsend (former Homeland Security Advisor to United States President George W. Bush and TV personality) are both questioned by Shane Harris.

Both McConnell and Townsend agree that the United States government and military are not equipped to handle cyber attacks. They assert that the only way real change will happen is if a catastrophic event occurs. Neither of them want a disaster, but agree that it might take a catastrophy to implement an effective defense plan.

McConnell notes that the United States' financial system is threatened and the Department of Homeland Security has the right resources to stop attacks. Townsend believes the National Security Agency is the nation's real capability. At the end of the session, Townsend and McConnell say that a catastrophic cyber attack could happen tomorrow, perhaps leaving the audience more questions than answers. The Stuxnet worm is a warning (according to Townsend). But, the worm did not cause physical damage or destruction. While an advanced, more dangerous computer virus could cause damage to critical infrastructure, the Stuxnet worm itself is not evidence of such a claim.The video is embedded below, but a link to The Atlantic article about this forum can be found here.

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Date

September 30, 2010

Zotero

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Citation

Mike McConnell, "Fmr. Intelligence Director: New Cyberattack May Be Worse Than 9/11 ," in Cyberwar Resources Guide, Item #56, https://www.projectcyw-d.org/resources/items/show/56 (accessed November 30, 2021).