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Cyberattacks Will Be Disruptive, Not Destructive, Says Howard Schmidt

In a recent interview by Krish Raghav, from Wall Street Journal's LiveMint.com, Howard Schmidt, an information networks expert and a senior cyber-security adviser in the Bush administration, talked about several hot Internet issues, including net neutrality and cyber-attacks. In this report, Raghav starts with the following statement: "In the last 12 months, some 10 Indian government ministry websites have been targets of cyber-attacks. Recently, security experts with Boston-based Core Security Technologies said such attackers could "gain control
of countries' water treatment plants, natural gas pipelines and other critical utilities".

In response to whether cyber-attacks could have the same impact as 9/11 in the U.S., Schmidt responded: "The way I try to answer this, is that we tend to look at cyber attacks as 'disruptive,' and not 'destructive.' We think of some regions in the world that have dependence on ICTs — whether its power systems or transport. But these critical systems are built in a way to ensure only 'disruption' and not 'destruction.' We've come a long way in, and today we are able to identify attacks early, mitigate it quickly and recover from it fast as well."

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