Readers can think the BBC, which ran a special on cyberwar last week, for the latest claim dribbling into US news on cyberwar.
The most fantastic claims appear to have been delivered by Richard Clarke.
Richard Clarke, who advised President Bill Clinton and tried to advise both presidents Bush on counter-terrorism and cyber-security, points out that “Sophisticated cyber attackers could do things like derail trains across the country…They could cause power blackouts – not just by shutting off the power but by permanently damaging generators that would take months to replace. They could do things like cause [oil or gas] pipelines to explode. They could ground aircraft.”
I suspect the writer of the article at AllGov was about ten years old when Clarke started making these kinds of claims:
“Without computer-controlled networks, there is no water coming out of your tap; there is no electricity lighting your room; there is no food being transported to your grocery store; there is no money coming out of your bank; there is no 911 system responding to emergencies; and there is no Army, Navy and Air Force defending the country . . . All of these functions, and many more, now can only happen if networks are secure and functional.
“A systematic [attack] could come from a terrorist group, a criminal cartel or a foreign nation . . . and we do know of foreign nations that are interested in our information infrastructure and are developing offensive capabilities that would allow them to take down sectors of our information infrastructure …
One possible scenario would feature a demand leveled by a foreign government or terrorist group. When the U.S. government refuses to comply, this adversary demonstrates its capabilities by reducing a region of the United States to chaos. ‘I think the capability to do that probably exists in the hands of several nations,’ Clarke states. ‘I think it could exist in the near future in the hands of criminal and terrorist organizations.’”
“Envision all of these things happening simultaneously – electricity going out in several major cities; telephones failing . . .” — Signal magazine, 1999
“I’m talking about people shutting down a city’s electricity . . . shutting down 911 systems, shutting down telephone networks and transportation systems. You black out a city, people die. Black out lots of cities, lots of people die.” — Clarke, the New York Times, 1999