Just as authentication service VeriSign admitted it has been hit by very strong hacking attacks a couple years ago, US officials have revealed that computer crimes will be more of a threat to the country than terrorism. VeriSign is an example of how cyber attacks can affect tens of millions of civilians, but government offices are also the target of malicious hackers.
FBI Director Robert Mueller this week noticed that “I do believe that the cyber threat will equal or surpass the threat from counterterrorism in the foreseeable future.” This of course also includes crimes that are categorized as “cyberterrorism,” wherein an individual or group has the sole intention of wreaking havoc on the US for the purpose of creating panic and chaos.
In addition to the VeriSign news, it was also revealed this week that the US Commerce Department suffered a virus attack, which resulted in employees being blocked from Internet access for nine ways while it was investigated. There was no serious damage, but the mere fact that something like that can happen with relative ease is a sign of distress. It is also telling that many of these attacks don’t actually lead to significant data leaks or severe consequences. Nevertheless, it is a dangerous and widespread concern.