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Why There’s No Need to Panic About a ‘Cyber 9/11’

Attacks against critical infrastructure are real, but the reality isn't as bad as the alarmists want us to believe.

At the end of April, the US Department of Energy disclosed that a so-called “cyber event” had disrupted the operations of a utility company in the western United States. Initially, there was little information about the incident, but people immediately started worrying about this being a feared case of hackers causing disruption and perhaps even damage in critical infrastructure.

A major disruption of US infrastructure via a cyber attack is what some have called a “cyber 9/11,” or a “cyber Pearl Harbor”—a much bandied around nightmare scenario.

Despite the doom and gloom rhetoric, we have yet to see anything come close to that. The incident at the end of the month turned out to be nothing like that, a simple denial of service attack that caused very little damage.

On this week's episode of CYBER, we spoke to Robert Lee, a former NSA analyst and infrastructure hacking expert, about the state of critical infrastructure, the threats it faces, and why there's still no need to panic.

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