Over the past few weeks, Axios has been interviewing individuals who have been entrusted with the most sensitive secrets our country has. Given the fact that we are presently living in a time where geopolitical stress is at an acute level, the company wanted to find out which global threat was the most worrisome, and which threats these experts felt were not actually receiving a fair amount of attention.
The reply that continued to come up over and over again when these foremost intelligence experts were interviewed was “the risk of a crippling cyberattack.”
Kirstjen Nielsen, a Homeland Security Secretary stated that the United States is essentially in “crisis mode.” She compared the danger of a colossal cyberattack to that of a Category 5 hurricane that is “looming on the horizon.” Intelligence chiefs agreed with her and said that there is actually no other threat more critical to our country.
The electrical grid could be knocked out and power could be shut off to an enormous swath of the U.S. in the case of a cyberattack that just happened to be very well-executed. Or, vital financial or government data could b compromised and we could be left uncertain of what is actually real and what isn’t.
Risks are essentially increasing on a daily basis with the gigantic number of devices connected to the internet, from automobiles to pacemakers.
Former CIA director, General David Ptraeus stated: “What worries me most is a cyber equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction falling into the hands of extremists who would, needless to say, be very difficult to deter, given their willingness to blow themselves up on the battlefield to take us with them.”
Leon Panetta, also a former CIA director had this to say about what our nation’s largest threat is: “a cyberattack that could paralyze the nation.”
Additionally, Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security Secretary stated: “cyberattacks on critical infrastructure from state or state-sponsored actors are the biggest threat right now.”
Although the nation’s topmost adversaries within the cyber realm are China, Russia North Korea, and Iran, the threat also stretches to non-state criminal groups, as well as threat actors.
The same exact conclusion has been reached by a lot of U.S. intelligence experts, and that conclusion ultimately reveals how much the threats to our nation have changed ever since 9/11.
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