Hackers moving from "disruption" to "destruction"

U.S. cyber chief inadvertently compliments anarchic hackers

By Natasha Lennard

Published October 2, 2012 8:20PM (EDT)

Speaking in Washington Tuesday, the top U.S. cyber-defense official, Gen. Keith Alexander, said hackers are upping the intensity of their attacks.

“We are seeing the threat grow from exploitation to disruption to destruction,” Alexander told a forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. He warned that attacks could impact organizations ranging from stock markets to power grid operators. “Think about a company that loses all the data on its system … If you wipe out the data, you wipe out the ability of the system to operate," he said.

The cyber-chief recommended the implementation of an information sharing system between the private sector and the government -- the very sort of legislation that failed early this year in Congress.

Hackers with their sights on major corporations and institutions will no doubt take Alexander's compliment with a pinch of "lulz."

[h/t TheNewsTribe.com]

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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