Posted by & filed under cyber terroism, cyber war, Cyberforensics, data analytics, Uncategorized.

Description: CNN’s Dan Simon pays a visit to a U.S. government lab that protects the nation from cyber-terrorism.

Source: CNN .com.

Date: Oct 1, 2011

Questions for discussion:

  1. What do you feel are the major risks from cyber terrorism in your geographic area?
  2. How should Canada best prepare for cyber war attacks?

10 Responses to “Idaho ‘Ground Zero” in Cyber-Terror War?”

  1. Andrew Douglas

    A major risk we face in Canada from cyber terrorism is if these terrorists are able to, and decide they want to, shut down our systems for natural gas, specifically in the winter time. This is a great threat to Canadians because, due to our geographical region, we are subject to very cold winters and many of us rely on these services to heat our homes and survive the subzero temperatures of the winter months. If the gas lines no longer provided our homes with gas and our furnaces all stopped working we could be in serious trouble, trying to fend off pneumonia, hypothermia, and even death caused by the lack of central heating.

    Canada should be very careful with how these systems are connected to the rest of the internet, if they are even connected at all. If they can get by without being connected, all the better, as this would virtually eliminate the risk of a cyber terrorist attack. However, if these systems must be connected to the internet, they should have sophisticated security systems that are monitored quite frequently to deter and detect and intrusions, allowing us to prevent or quickly fix any malicious actions taken by these terrorists.

  2. Sydney D

    A cyber attack in Canada could affect a lot of living qualities such as running water, heat, gas, and electricity. Heat and electricity seem to be the most important because of out geographical area and the changes in weather temperature throughout the winter months. Not many homes are built with wood burning fireplaces anymore, so we are forced to rely on a furnace (with gas to run it) and electricity to turn on an electric fireplace in order to supply heat. Clean running water is a luxury that not may people realize and Canadians rely on it every day. Without it, we would be lost.

    Security is one thing Canada should definitely think about. Securing the networks of large companies would be a marginal cost compared to the damage a cyber attack could accomplish – not only on individual homes, but on a larger scale as well.

  3. Julian Fisher

    The government and private organizations need to work together in order to fight cyber terrorism. Create organizations in which their main purpose is to research ways to beef up internet security as well as developing techniques to locate these cyber criminals. Although stricter internet laws are a necessity in order for this idea to be a success

  4. adam smith

    Canada is like most counties I think we have power plants and water supplies and other natural resource that if and attack is made and leave families, homes, comities and cities in devastation. The modern world relies so heavy on these things that without them it makes it hard to survive. Without the power to heat our homes in the winter we would freeze unless we have wood burning stoves which are rare these days. With a contaminated water supply we could die of thirst unless we had access to a well which is unheard of in most situations. With us so dependent on these industries and things the threats of such attacks are quite frightening.
    I don’t know all the ways to monitor the security of such network systems to avoid these situations but regulations should be put in place by the governments and other regulation agencies on these industries forcing them to provide the upmost security to prevent them from ever happening. But on the flip side of things obviously cost come into play because if the cost are to high there would be no reason for them to produce these resource and industries for us them unless the consumer bares the cost. So it would come down to who should bear the costs of protecting individuals, companies and industries from these attacks.

  5. Lindsay G

    1. What do you feel are the major risks from cyber terrorism in your geographic area?
    If there was to be an incident of deliberate cyber terrorism in Canada, it is likely that it would focus on disturbing various utility services. The inability to have heat during winter months would prove to be quite devastating based on our typical climate. Tampering with water purification plants would also prove to be an issue. Although it would be possible to boil water in most situations, if there was a massive, multi-utility attack that also disable electricity or natural gas, it would make this simple task nearly impossible. Although there are some communities that have access to alternate energy sources, such as wind or solar power, I believe the increase in demand would make the success of that method short lived at best. Another area that could have devastating effects would be if cyber terrorists were able to effectively hack into the systems at any dam. By having control over the water flow it could be possible to wipe out a town entirely if the terrorist chose to do so. I believe that cyber terrorist is a real threat that must be taken seriously and that steps must be taken to ensure that the likelihood of these types of attacks is minimized to the best of our ablilities.

  6. Alisha Coate

    This CNN video represents an event that many people have foreshadowed in the creation of all the technological advances. When you leave important tasks up to technology there are bound to be some discrepancies. Once you release data on to a wireless network, it can be transmitted anywhere in the world. Your hacker could be in Russia where you have no authority to change what this individual is doing. Hackers have gotten intelligent in the sense they travel around from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is illegal for an individual to be penalized by another jurisdiction when not currently in that jurisdiction. It is also hard to track where the wireless signal is coming from. If a cyber criminal has the right tools to hack into the system, all information can be obtained. There are systems out there to protect against this kind of attack but for how long will they be able to withstand these attacks. This is one reason why we should maintain backups and keep updated protection software. I believe as long as Canada secures their wireless connections and keeps their protective software update we will be okay. We do not pose a huge threat to the rest of the world. United States on the other hand should develop massive strategies to counteract these attacks.

  7. Leanne Dalton

    The fact that hackers have the ability to wreak such havoc on a geographical area is terrifying. Watching this video reminded me of how reliant we are as a society on information systems. Because of the geographical area that we live in, we are reliant on technologies to transport us, heat our homes, provide us with clean water, etc. If there was a cyber-terrorist attack in our region, especially in the winter, I think that it could cause a lot of damage. Hospitals, schools, and the police require a lot of assistance from information systems, and in the event of an attack, we could be left defenseless. The ability to communicate with our family, friends, and government in different parts of the country (or world) is something that we take for granted.
    Canada should have very strong defenses up in order to prevent events such as mass power-outages. Although I do not believe that the government should be protecting individual corporations, I think that they should be protecting their own operations. Companies should be ensuring that they have the most up-to-date software and hardware available in order to avoid a chaotic attack, and should be testing their defense mechanisms frequently.

  8. Jian Li

    In my country, the environment of internet is significantly different from other countries. Because of the despotic and centralist polity, all the media and information spread websites are strictly under the observation. Everything on the internet is strictly inspected and filtered, any suspicious information or websites are taken off banned immediately. The overreacting way of supervising the internet (the ban of facebook, youtube, and twitter are the best examples) confines the freedom of using internet in my countries, but it somehow increase the security of using internet, as well as lower down the potential of being hacked. However, there is still risk of cyber terrorism because the government pays most of its attention to prevent those who are related to the polity. Those which are also crucial but less political things are often neglected. For example, the scheduling system for transportation (planes, high-speed railway), the control system of power plants or reservoirs, etc. are all the potential targets of cyber terrorism.
    For best prepare for cyber war attacks, the primary but core step is to level up the security system. Grasp the most updated technologies and keep up with the development of computer and internet. Having more sophisticated supervising system and build specific department to collects information about extremists who may be harmful for the country.

  9. Kristen Schalin

    It is scary that hackers have such abilities to cyber attack and cause such destruction on cities. People rely so much on technology to run most aspects of our lives, such as water, utilities and putting this much trust into technology leaves people vulnerable. Just like stated in the video, if a virus is put into the water system or a power plant, this could lead to contamination of a whole city’s water supply and shut down power for the whole city. Now a days what would we do without electricity? It gives us light, gives us power for our computers, we rely on electricity for many aspects of our life.
    Protecting these systems are very important but how to do it is questionable. Hackers are getting so talented and are accessing many systems with such ease. Keeping these systems detached from the World Wide Web will be one of the best shots as the data will not be floating around available for hackers to retrieve and cause destruction. It is important for these companies to have backups of the networks and systems, as well as to keep updated virus protection. As well as having employees monitoring the progress of these systems daily to watch the activity on the networks and system.

  10. Blair Watkins

    A lot of people (myself included) don’t even think of cyber terrorism, or when they do they think of cyber terrorism on a personal level. I didn’t know that Terrorists could attack entire systems like that. It’s unnerving that a hacker can hack a system from anywhere. It would be extremely difficult to track where that person is. While I was in Washington DC I spoke with a few people who cyber police for the Pentagon. I think that in order to be prepared for cyber attacks, Canada can, if they already haven’t, implement specific divisions in all major organizations for cyber security purposes. I’m sure there is always room to improve security. What’s a good idea is to use people that are hackers and make it worth there while to help secure organizations networks in order to keep up with hackers.

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