posted Apr 09, 2001

The phantom cyber-threat Hacking & Cracking4/9/2001; 4:22:27 PM 'Are you under 30? If so, jokes former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake in his book "Six Nightmares," chances are you have enough technical know-how to be a cyber-threat. And if you don't, says Lake, you can find everything you need, including cyber-attack tools and their instruction manuals, on the Internet. Armed with these tools, "millions of computer-savvy individuals could wreak havoc against the United States." 'But vulnerable to what? ... Part of the problem is that Lake and other alarmists don't distinguish between the resources it takes to cause an expensive nuisance -- like last year's denial-of-service attacks on Yahoo and eBay -- and the skills, time and access one needs to create a devastating attack, like crashing an airplane. In "Six Nightmares," Lake doesn't consider the checks that protect infrastructure from such threats. He also fails to ask an obvious question: If there are so many malicious hackers at work (19 million, by Lake's count), why have their attacks been, by and large, fairly innocuous?'This author has got a good grasp on the real issues involved here.


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