The commander of the U.S. Cyber Command said on Wednesday that critical infrastructure like power grids and financial networks are weak and need to be strengthened against cyber attacks.
“From my perspective, the threats are real and growing,” said Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who heads the Cyber Command as well as the electronic intelligence-gathering National Security Agency.
“You only have to look at the distributed denial of service attacks that we’ve seen on Wall Street, the destructive attacks we’ve seen against Saudi Aramco and RasGas to see what’s coming at our nation,” he said. “We need to act, and we need to act now. That time for action is now, and this executive order takes a step in implementing that action.”
Alexander spoke with other government officials at the Commerce Department on Wednesday. He was commenting on Presidential Policy Directive-21 (PPD-21), on protecting critical U.S. infrastructure from both cyber and physical attacks.
“America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber attacks,” President Barack Obama said announcing the order in the State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
“Now, we know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private emails,” he said. “We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems.”
“Our infrastructure is fragile,” he said. “When you look at the amount of problems that we have, we also have to look at how we harden it, how do we bring together that. This executive order sets up a process for government and industry to start to address this problem.”
Full article: Fixing Cyber Roads and Bridges (Washington Free Beacon)