Digital Mogadishu


So far, our cyber infrastructure has not suffered from a 9/11-like attack. But that's not the only kind of threat the slow-building quagmire is also able to take us down--a digial Mogadishu, if you will. Bruce Sterling offers four things we can do to protect the nation's electronic frontier:

  1. Stamp out SPAM. Let's face it, SPAM is more than a nuisance. SPAM is also the vector by which many of the threats to our computing infrastructure are transported.
  2. Protect ordinary citizens. Well-run computing infrastructures in large organizations are pretty well protected. That means that the small-time computing infrastructure is where attacks will be launched from. Infected computers on large ISP networks are already recognized as a major source of SPAM, viruses, and other threats.
  3. Unplug the syndicate. Organized crime is behind many of the scams on the net. We can go after them just as we have in the past.
  4. Empower the experts. Bruce points out that the chief of Cyber Security in DHS is merely a cheerleader with very little real power. Law enforcement needs to get into cyber security in a real way. Most state AGs offices have very few people who understand this area well. Consequently, even when laws get passed, they are rarely enforced aggressively.