U.S. Cyber Command

Rise Is Seen in Cyberattacks Targeting U.S. Infrastructure

Actually, I have no doubt that our country can fend off these attacks with ease…

The New York Times

The top American military official responsible for defending the United States against cyberattacks said Thursday that there had been a 17-fold increase in computer attacks on American infrastructure between 2009 and 2011, initiated by criminal gangs, hackers and other nations.

The assessment by Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who heads the National Security Agency and also the newly created United States Cyber Command, appears to be the government’s first official acknowledgment of the pace at which America’s electricity grids, water supplies, computer and cellphone networks and other infrastructure are coming under attack. Those attacks are considered potentially far more serious than computer espionage or financial crimes.

General Alexander, who rarely speaks publicly, did not say how many attacks had occurred in that period. But he said that he thought the increase was unrelated to the release two years ago of a computer worm known as Stuxnet, which was aimed at taking down Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.

When the worm inadvertently became public, many United States officials and outside experts expressed concern that it could be reverse-engineered and used against American targets. General Alexander said he saw no evidence of that.

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