There is justified concern that the Information Technology (IT) infrastructures of the United States (US) and probably all countries in the world are not secure. Our digital national security infrastructure is routinely penetrated. Some of these attacks have compromised critical systems supporting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense contractor networks that store information vital to our national security are being attacked with increasing frequency (Harbiger 2010). In 2007 some unknown adversary broke into the Department of Defense, Department of State, and Department of Commerce networks, and probably the Department of Energy and NASA as well (CBS 2009). In April 2009, CNN reported that according to defense officials confidential files of the military’s technologically most advanced fighter aircraft, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, had been compromised by unknown parties over a two-year period (CNN 2009).

Our commercial networks are equally under attack. For example, very recently Google and other companies were subjected to attacks and security breaches in China that were judged to be so severe that Google seriously considered terminating its entire operations in China (McMillan 2010). Similarly, attempts have been made to penetrate the networks of major oil companies, such as Exxon-Mobile, Conoco-Phillips and Marathon Oil, for purposes of stealing proprietary information (Zetter 2010). Cyber thefts involving personal data such as credit card information are being routinely reported by the media. Cyber attacks have probed our electric grid and have plunged large cities in Brazil into darkness. What is even more frightening is that we are probably not even aware of the majority of successful penetrations. In other words, we do not really know what has been compromised and what sensitive information is still secure.



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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/arch_fac/83