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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Warns of Cyberattack Threat on U.S.

A few weeks ago US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave a speech warning of the potential for a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” for the United States. His words are full of dire warnings regarding the potential for attacks by groups or nations that might result in derailing trains loaded with toxic chemicals, large-scale water supply contamination, power grid failures, and more, with truly catastrophic results should several such attack be engineered to launch simultaneously.

This speech was given in support of legislation or regulation that would promote better cooperation between private industry operating in critical areas and resources of the government. Several such legislative attempts have been started in recent years; however, none have enjoyed any great measure of support or success.

Although the future of cyber warfare may be difficult to define in any clean fashion, we have only to look at the escalating events of the last decade, from Estonia to Stuxnet, to see the pattern that is forming. We have now moved solidly into the era of at least tacitly approved cyber-attacks on a global stage, and are clearly still at the thin edge of the wedge. Moving forward, we can expect increasingly frequent and complex attacks in the cyber domain, and we need to be prepared to wage both sides of such a conflict.

In support of such efforts, we can see an uptick in the number of publications on the topic of cyber warfare and closely-related issues, including Cyber Warfare by Andress and Winterfeld, Industrial Network Security by Knapp, and Inside Cyber Warfare by Carr, just to name a few that are available in Safari Books Online. Such texts have moved from higher-level and more policy-oriented works to much more specific and technical works in a very short period of time, as the need for technical resources to support such efforts continues to accelerate swiftly.

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Cyber Warfare Resources in this blog post

Cyber Warfare: Techniques, Tactics and Tools for Security Practitioners Industrial Network Security Inside Cyber Warfare

Tags: cyber warfare, cyberattack, network security, panetta's speech,

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