Panetta's Pearl Harbor
October 16, 2012
Rich and I attended the dinner in New York where Defense Secretary Leon Panetta echoed our warnings and spoke about the potential for a "digital Pearl Harbor."
Our reaction? Panetta's speech, even laced as it was about new details on Iran's attempts at cyber terror, was all so . . . 2008.
Still, it was reported as big news, although the vulnerability of the electrical grid and chemical plants has been well reported. Past CIA and NSA chiefs have issued similar warnings. The Secretary did add a commendable plea to protect companies that share information from rapcious trial lawyers armed with class action lawsuits.
Still, credit Panetta for making the most high-profile, bright line plea ever for increased cybersecurity.
If this doesn't get our elected represenatives to act on a comprehensive approach to cyber security after the election, then we are tempted to say we deserve what we are about to get. But no, if we are hit by a state-sponsored attack on the grid and key facilities, it will be far worse than any attack before.