May 3, 2009

Editor’s note: Obama’s cyber security plan is mentioned in this article. As an example of the threat faced, the article mentions the 2007 cyberattacks on Estonia. It should be noted that in response to coordinated DoS and botnet attacks, Estonia pulled the plug on the internet as a precautionary measure. Congress here in the United States is now talking seriously about allowing Obama to do the same.

During her last weekly video message, entitled “Europe must be prepared for cyber attacks,” the EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, brought forward the idea of a “Mister Cyber Security.” The Commissioner wants such a position established as soon as possible, in order to better coordinate Europe’s cyber forces and develop practical defense plans.

“NATO War in cyberspace” covers the cyber attacks launched against Estonia in 2007. Estonia used an internet “on-off” switch the protect its networks.

[efoods]All recent armed conflicts were backed up by informational attacks targeted at strategical online assets, such as the official communication channels. Even though all governments have rejected any accusations of involvement and claimed that these attacks were performed by popular cyber militias, professionals in the security industry say that the prospect of fully-blown cyberwars is near.

The United States are determined to take the necessary steps to ensure that their Internet infrastructure is properly protected against the numerous cyber espionage attempts or future attacks. The Obama administration has started by declaring the cyber infrastructure a strategic asset.

Ms. Reding feels that the European Union is falling behind, mostly because some member states are more prepared to fend off these threats than others. She exemplifies this with Estonia, which was the subject of such a co-ordinated cyber attack in 2007. As a result, “The websites of administrations, parliament, banks, newspapers and broadcasters were swamped.”

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