Cyber View; January 1999; Scientific American Magazine; by Dupont; 1 Page(s)
Information security is the new catchphrase at the Pentagon. Every day the U.S. military grows more reliant on information technology for everything from bookkeeping to battlefield communications, and every year it spends more to guard against hackers, terrorists and other enemies. Information security is among the few areas of the defense budget that is guaranteed to grow in coming years; like missile defense, it shares congressional, Pentagon and defense industry support, and the media has begun to pay a great deal of attention to hackers who penetrate military World Wide Web sites and other threats.
But George Smith, who edits the Crypt Newsletter, an on-line publication covering information warfare and security issues, suggests that the government may be overstating the threat. "It is far from proved that the country is at the mercy of possible devastating computerized attacks," he wrote in last fall's Issues in Science & Technology. Although threats exist, he contends that the "time and effort expended in dreaming up potentially catastrophic information warfare scenarios could be better spent implementing consistent and widespread policies and practices in basic computer security."