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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.