13 Dec 2011

Security expert believes we could be entering age of 'cyber war'

Although internet security is becoming stronger, so too are those trying to break downfirewalls and antivirus programs. Roger Thompson, a security expert recently hired by ICSA Labs, said smartphones, social media and an increase in online activitiy could lead to "dire implications" for national security.

"But I think we are poised to enter a new age, an age of cyber war. I'm fairly confident," Thomspon told Network World. "For example, look at the Stuxnet worm. No one knows who really did it and no one knows who the target really was, although we can all speculate. But what we may be confident of after discovering Stuxnet is that any country not thinking along the lines of cyber war before, now is."

He said software now can be used to damage hardware and it will take more than programs to stop this. He believes things need to be done on the federal and testing level and internet security needs to take an overall step up.

When asked about the Stuxnet worm, Joseph Weiss, an expert on industrial control systems used in power plants, told NPR that "nothing like this" has occurred before. He said this was the first instance of a nation-state looking to destroy infrastructure via a cyber attack. Internet security must step up to quell these attacks.