U.S. is "ill-prepared for a cyber catastrophe."
The Business Roundtable, a high-powered, invitation-only group of 160 of the nation's top CEOs, issued a report Friday saying that the U.S. is "ill-prepared for a cyber catastrophe." The report suggests that a major blow to the Internet -- from a natural disaster or terrorist attack -- could bring the U.S. economy to a halt, writes Ars Technica. There are three key problem areas: The lack of an early warning mechanism for problems, ambiguous and overlapping responsibilities for Internet management, and insufficient resources in the hands of recovery organizations. Hurricane Katrina, according to Ars, was a wakeup call for the group.
Indeed, Roundtable president John Castellani told the press, "If our nation is hit by a cyber-Katrina that wipes out large parts of the Internet, there is no coordinated plan in place to restart and restore the Internet." Ars readers, for their part, greeted the news with black humor. No worries, writes one, "just send an email out to everyone when there's an Internet attack." To which another responds, "And when you get that email, make sure that you click 'Reply All' so everyone knows you got it."
Seriously though, what should the government and the business sector being doing to prepare for a massive Internet outage?
I thought the internet was designed to be the network that you could not bring down. How about increasing the openness of the net by encouraging (1) more netowork operators and (2) more routes to the users, so that each user has redundant connections, and - encouringing the growth of multiple network technologies (wired, wireless, optical, GSM, over power lines) so that there is plenty of redundancy in the overall system.
As a professional who has worked in the online computer industry for 43 years, we are indeed vulnerable to not only a cyber-disaster, but also an electro-magnetic pulse(EMP)disaster. Contrary to popular belief, while an Internet meltdown would be disastrous, an EMP attack would be catastrophic and would put the U.S. right back into the 19th century. With our dependence on CMOS technology virtually 100%, everything, including all cars manufactured after 1992/3, would come to a grinding halt as they all use CMOS. We would all be like squirrels searching for nuts, cause that's all there would be to eat.
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