Cyber war: Scary, or scare-mongery?

Cadet Tera Corbari, center, participates in the 9th annual Cyber Defense Exercise last week. The exercise pitted West Point Cadets against teams from the four other service academies as they designed, built and configured a computer system. During the CDX the teams defended their networks against an outside attack from National Security Agency and Dept. of Defense personnel. The teams were evaluated on their ability to defend their networks and keep their systems on-line and available.

The Obama administration, like the Bush team before it, have talked a great deal about the need to strengthen our ability to fend off attacks that target U.S. computers. How much should we worry, really?

Yesterday we heard from James Lewis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He's just written a new report that concludes there is no chance another country or terrorist group will launch a major cyber attack against the U.S. anytime in the near future. Still, Lewis believes U.S. defenses against an Internet-based attack on its military and government computers, power grids and financial system are weak and need to be shored up to guard against future threats.

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