Computer Crime Research Center


Bush To Request $6 Billion to Combat Cyber-Terrorism

Date: January 31, 2008
By: Tim Stevens

Just last week it was revealed that the group that perpetrated the cyber-attacks on Estonian networks, escalating the already high tension between that nation and its neighbor Russia, wasn't really a group at all. It was a 20-year-old hacker from within Estonia itself. That revelation was a bit of a wake-up call for the global community -- that a strong-minded individual could create an international incident without much trouble. President Bush seems to have been paying attention and is reportedly ready to propose a $6 billion project to create some sort of National Security Agency for American networks.

It's unclear just what the plan would entail at this point. And, knowing the government's penchant for secrecy, it's unlikely that we'll get any more details after it is formally proposed next month as part of Bush's budget. However, you can be sure that it will to some degree focus on the passive monitoring of Internet traffic, something that will frustrate privacy advocates to no end.

The question now is, of course, what amount of privacy lost and money spent is a worthy trade for the prevention of American networks from attack? An outage here caused by an attack like that seen in Estonia would have a devastating effect on our already soft economy. That is, of course, assuming there's a group of malicious hackers out there powerful enough to do such a thing here. Our networks are, after all, a bit more redundant than those in Estonia.

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