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Who Protects Our Infrastructures?

Updated on April 12, 2015

Private VS. Government Security

 It's beyond the ability of most power utility companies to keep determined cyberinsurgents at bay, at least for very long. After all, they're in the business of delivering electricity not suspecting an event...
It's beyond the ability of most power utility companies to keep determined cyberinsurgents at bay, at least for very long. After all, they're in the business of delivering electricity not suspecting an event...

Who Should Be in Charge?

Cyber Warfare – Unintended Consequences

Orwellian Era Concerns

Basic far-reaching dilemma – who guards cyber security for private enterprise? Does our infrastructure guard themselves against foreign computer hacking? Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function. Cyber Warfare is when another nation/state, or individual desire to penetrate another nation's computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption.

The recent Stuxnet virus is the stuff of urban legend. In data security circles, it was the first use of computers to commit cyber warfare. Stuxnet is a computer virus designed for a specific purpose: destroy nuclear centrifuges in Iran. Different variants of Stuxnet targeted five Iranian organizations. Stuxnet showed, for the first time, that a cyber-attack could cause significant physical damage to a facility.

There is a serious debate on going to decide if our government provides security for our infrastructure, some examples are: refineries, electrical generation, and water systems. Are the private companies able to go it alone? The fear is that post-Orwellian era concerns about threats to privacy are real.

Who Should be in Charge of Our Security?

Who should be responsible for detecting malware? Should private industry or intelligence-gathering agencies within the federal government be responsible?

The Genie is Out of the Bottle

The Stuxnet virus has given countries like Russia and China, and cyber criminals a textbook on how to attack key U.S. installations. The actual source code of Stuxnet is now available and you can re-purpose it and repackage it. You can customize to your needs.

Complete regions of the country can be isolated leaving citizens powerless from coast to coast. The utility companies are not equipped to combat or detect malware. The Stuxnet virus is near invisible, identifying it readily is also far beyond the means of most, if not all, rank-and-file power grid employees.

Time is of the Essence

Perhaps the solution is for the private and public sectors to collaborate on security defense and data protection. Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, "He who fails to plan is planning to fail." When it comes to protecting our infrastructures (refineries, electrical generation, and water systems) - failure is not an option.

Related Articles:

http://dallas93444.hubpages.com/hub/Siemens-Halts-Computer-Virus-For-Key-Infrastructures-Utilities-Nuclear-Power-Plants

http://hubpages.com/hub/Computer-Worm-Stuxnet-Hits-Nuclear-Plant-in-Iran

New Book Available: "Eyes Wide Shut: An Enigma"

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    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      We share deep roots...!

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 

      6 years ago

      Dallas,

      Now I'm nearly certain our grandparents are related, lol!! Same state, same tribe, and same philosophies!

      I didn't inherit my tribal-kin's tact for being thrifty, but I DID manage to inherit the "I can build a great fire" genes! :)

      femme

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      My Oklahoma relatives describe copper wire being discovered by the Cherokees squeezing pennies... not wanting to let go! My Cherokee grandmother used to say she would buy two Cadillac's for a dollar if she had one...

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 

      6 years ago

      LOL!!!

      Never know, Dallas. Your kin are from the same neck of the woods as mine. We might be cousins, lol.

      My new description for smoke signals in femme-speak is tribal-telegraph.

      The Choctaw Nation will probably not be impressed with it. They've gone techno-junkie.

      However, the Cherokee Nation is so ... "thrifty" (which is the polite word for "tight"), they'll probably love it.

      femme

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      femmeflashpoint,

      You are the best! Remember, I am part Indian! Smoke signals do work... perhaps they can still confuse others?

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 

      6 years ago

      Dallas,

      I was kinda kidding about the smoke signals. (wink)

      femme

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      incomeguru,

      Have you considered the government doing it "all alone?" I have just completed a book whereas leadership without accountability corrupts absolute.

      www.eyeswideshutanenigma.com

      Who/what determines what the government does in the name of "secuity? There is a huge governement facility being built as of this date wherein the National Security Agency (NSA) that is a surveillance center. Yottabytes of data -- including yours-- will be stored there.

      This is located deep in the Utah deset. It is the biggest national spy center. It's the final piece of a secret survillance network that will intgercept and store your phone calls, emails, google search and etc...

      When construction is complete in 2013, the heavily fortified $2 billion facility in Bluffdale will encompass 1 million square feet.

      Already in secret listening rooms, nationwide, NSA software examines every email, phone call, and tweet as they zip by...

      Once it's operational, the Utah Data Center will become, in effect, the NASA's cloud. he NASA tentacles reach into every element of communications including eavesdropping satellites, overseqs listening posts. All of this data is accessible to NASA's code breakers, data-miners, China analysts, counterterrism specialists, and others...

      The bear is out of the box already...

      Who is accountable? Who is in "charge?"

      The political process has been bypassed...

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      femmeflashpoint,

      The "old ways" of communications are not fool-proof either... high energy beams confuse pigeons... and "altered" weather can influence "smoke signals."

      The path toward the unknown is fraught with staggering implications and possibilities...

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      diogenes,

      It is "believe" to be a collaboration of Israel and the US that designed and launced Stuxnet. Those who know cannot say...

      There is a logarithmic acceleration of cyber warfare... the unintended consequences are not known...

    • incomeguru profile image

      Oyewole Folarin 

      6 years ago from Lagos

      In my own opinion, the government cannot do it all alone, it is a collective responsibility of everybody to safeguard our infrastructures from being attacked.

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 

      6 years ago

      Dallas,

      You never cease to amaze me with your intel, and scare me stupid at the same time.

      I agree with diogenes, and think carrier pidgeons might not be such a bad idea. Maybe smoke signals and bringing back the Pony Express as well.

      I'm a techno-fiend, and love the stuff, but the idea of how we've become so dependent on it for everyday living, and beyond that national security ...

      The implications are staggering.

      Excellent article.

      femme

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 

      6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Who launched Stuxnet? Is that common knowledge? In view of what it attacked, was it the US Government?

      Who can really say where all this is going with the speed communication is proliferating? Maybe we should start training pidgeons.

      Good hub Bob

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