FBI Warns Brewing Cyberwar May Have Same Impact as ‘Well-Placed Bomb’

FoxNews.com
3/8/2010

NATO and America’s European allies are sounding the alarm over what they say are increased cyber attacks originating from China that are targeting key government and intelligence computers.

The warning comes on the heels of an FBI report last week detailing the “real … and expanding threat” of cyber terrorism, especially from Al Qaeda.

FBI Director Robert Mueller warned Thursday that cyber-terrorists “will either train their own recruits or hire outsiders… as a means to damage both our economy and our psyche — and countless extremists have taken this to heart,” he said.

Mueller said that a cyber-attack could have the same impact as a “well-placed bomb.” He also accused “nation-state hackers” of seeking out U.S. technology, intelligence, intellectual property and even military weapons and strategies.

NATO’s warning focuses on China, for secret intelligence material to be protected from a recent surge in cyberwar attacks originating in China. The cyber-penetration of key offices in NATO and the EU has led to restrictions because there are concerns that secret intelligence reports might be vulnerable, the London Times reports.

There are reportedly two forms of attack: those focusing on disrupting computer systems and others involving “fishing trips” for sensitive information.

Security officials have indicated that China now poses the biggest threat — but Beijing denies making such attacks.

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