Cyber Attacks Will Be the Greatest National Security Threat in the 21st Century


Two prominent U.S. publications, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, are the latest victims in a long string of cyber attacks that have infiltrated U.S. systems and government. 

There appear to be no disastrous consequences, but the news is disconcerting to both publications, as it appears the alleged Chinese hackers have been monitoring these two systems with a degree of success. At The Wall Street Journal, their Chinese news syndicate has been compromised and so too have the names and contact information of a few well-known New York Times journalists. 

These publications will rebound but the incident is not likely to be forgotten. Cyber-terrorism is a mounting concern for industry leaders wishing to safeguard their brands; it represents a great vulnerability for American society. 

While large organizations such as the Times and Journal can afford specialized security contractors to fortify their systems, smaller organizations — your mom and pop shops — are very susceptible to cyber attacks. 

The “cyber threat” is the single greatest threat to the national security of the U.S., as it appears now and in the future; the infrastructure of warfare is changing. The foundation of all things combative is the internet. Every creature comfort we enjoy in cyberspace has the ability to be turned around on us and used against us. When the intent is there, a cyber hacker may take your information at will to disrupt and generate fear comparable to traditional terrorism. 

Cyber-terrorism has been commonplace for sometime now, even amongst displaced terrorists it is relatively easy to hack into your information with amateurish equipment. A computer, a$50 antenna, and free downloadable software is all one needs to cause disruption in cyberspace. Famously Al-Qaeda operatives used cyber-terrorism through network and YouTube garnering propaganda against the U.S., to recruit and train more agents of terrorism. 

Thousands of attempts on our national security are made everyday. Data flows through the air like invisible smart bullets that have the capability to bleed you out slowly or smash you to pieces. For the defense department, cyber-terrorists exists as some Orwellian nightmare where everyone is vying for Big brother supremacy. Computer hounds are now employed to break apart entire networks and disintegrate the fabrics that interconnect our everyday lives. In recent days the Pentagon has begun to address these virtual threats by increasing the size of their cyber security force by more than 4,000 people. 

President Obama has said early on in his tenure as president, “It’s the great irony of our information age, the very technologies that empower us to create and to build also empower those who would disrupt and destroy.” Those words resonate even more powerfully today, as irony is read in the pages of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal; spelling out the omnipresent threat of cyber-terrorism are these two news publications, that today are making front page news. 

Cyber-terrorism is all-pervasive, like an ethereal Rubik's cube; you can’t touch it and it keeps resetting itself. Those in China are not surprised by recent developments in the U.S., citing that they too have been the victim’s of cyber-terrorism. 

In the 21st century it’s not going to matter how many arms you carry, but instead how many buttons you press.