It's a dangerous virtual world out there in cyber-space, certainly for America it would seem, as the country is increasingly being probed by foreign nations.
US military computer systems and corporate networks are being scanned for potential vulnerabilities and opportunities to siphon off vital data, by no less than six or more countries who have offensive cyber-capabilities.
That's according to an ex-FBI employee who was the organisation's top expert in matters of cyber-defence, Shawn Henry. He wouldn't name the foreign powers in question, though. Others in the cyber-security world have pointed the finger at China, Iran and Russia as being likely to be among those half a dozen plus nations.
The US is currently engaged in cyber-diplomacy with China, however, having organised two test cyber-war exercises last year, and one is planned for next month. The idea being to dissipate tension, and hopefully help to prevent any escalation should such an incident happen for real.
Indeed, it's expected that cyber-terrorism will soon be a bigger threat to America than real-world terrorism. Those who have hacked US systems have shown they cannot only steal data, but also manipulate or destroy it.
Henry stated: "I know a lot of companies have suffered, and they are going to want to see somebody come in and assist them. It won't be the U.S. government... so it's going to have to be the private sector."
Henry recently left the FBI to join a cyber-security start-up, so while he might have an interest in talking up the threat, there's no doubt that it's a very real one.
Source: Washington Post (opens in new tab)