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US Not Prepared to Combat Cyber Threat

The United States of America is not prepared well to combat a cyber attack, according to the military and intelligence officials of the country. Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence, in February 2010, opened his security threats' annual survey by recommending Congress that malevolent cyber crime is unprecedentedly increasing, and efforts made by the country to fight cyber assaults are not much strong, as reported by npr on April 6, 2010.

The cyber threats comprise of phishing, botnets, denials of service, IP spoofing, man-in-the-middle attacks, distributed denials of service, and insertion of other types of malware.

Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review, which was published in February (2010), informed that computer networks of the department are infiltrated everyday by innumerable sources, varying from small groups held and managed by individuals to a few major countries in the world. According to a senior defense officer who closely follows cyber threat, the Pentagon, in 2008 and 2009, observed a blast of computer attacks, presently averaging around 5,000 per day.

Experts, while explaining the possible threat for the US, said that except the US, no other nation on the globe is more reliant on its computers. As of now, data networks support the U.S. power grid, banking and transportation systems, its military operations and the telecommunications.

Put differently, the entire U.S. economy relies on the activities in cyber space, and such a degree of reliance makes it uniquely exposed to advanced computer hackers. The country's economy will nearly collapse if its computer networks fail.

In addition, experts also said that Internet crime is progressively becoming a full-fledged business, and in most cases associated with vicious orchestrated crime syndicates. Also, the white-collar criminals are increasingly engaged in such endeavors. Hence, government establishments are recommended to assess their threat postures.

However, it is far more difficult to put off a cyber attack. Named as "attribution problem" by security experts, this is one of the most dangerous challenges. U.S. intelligence and defense agencies would most probably have a tough time determining exactly from where an attack originated and to whom shall the credit go.

The attribution problem is becoming more complicated. The experts concluded by saying that as it's quite intricate to trace the assault to an executor, direct revenge may not be possible.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

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