San Antonio prepares to battle cyber-terrorism
Source: News 9 San Antonio
By: Meranda Carter
Date: September 17, 2003
Terrorism comes in many forms, and it doesn't always involve explosions. Sometimes destruction is right at a person's fingertips.
"A cyber-attack to any community could be catastrophic if it wasn't managed correctly," Assistant Chief Mike Miller of the San Antonio Fire Department's Emergency Operations Division said.
Last month's blackout in the Northeast was a prime example of what a cyber-terrorist could cause.
Authorities don't know if computer hackers are to blame but, either way, it demonstrated just how dependant we have become on computers and how devastating it can be when they crash.
Oftentimes, our power infrastructure crashes with them.
"Computers came into existence, and we realized there was a tremendous opportunity there for security breaches, if you will," Col. James Massaro of U.S. Air Force Intelligence said. "So we started to take computer-to-computer communications very seriously and said we've got to get into the security business for that as well."
San Antonio is leading the nation when it comes to dealing with possible cyber-attacks. In a joint effort, the military the Dark Screen."
It's based at the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at UTSA.
Over the next 10 days, participants will be given cyber-attack scenarios. The results of their performance will be used to improve response times.
"So we ensure that we are prepared to deal with a cyber-attack -- much as we would a regular physical attack," Miller said.
The Dark Screen exercises began a year ago. They are set up in three phases.
The third and final phase will run from now until Sept. 26.
Fighting terrorism in the 21st Century no longer just means protecting our homeland, our borders and our skies. It means setting up a different kind of army in cyberspace.
Original article at: http://news9sanantonio.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=4976
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