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November 8, 2011

Cyber weaknesses should deter US from waging war

Richard Clarke, a top adviser to the president, indicated that the country was not in a position to protect its critical networks

By CBR Staff Writer

America’s computer systems vulnerability to attacks should deter the US leaders from waging wars with other countries, said a top former US cybersecurity official on Monday.

Richard Clarke, who was a top adviser to three presidents, along with a number of US military and civilian experts, offered a dire assessment of America’s cybersecurity at a conference, stating that the country simply was not in a position to protect its critical networks.

Clarke, along with Gen. Keith Alexander, who heads both the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, said he was advising the president warning against attacking other countries as many of them, including China, North Korea, Iran and Russia, could hit back by launching dangerous cyberattacks that could destroy power grids, banking networks or transportation systems.

He added that the US military was entirely dependent on computer systems now. Clarke said. "I can’t assure you that as you go to war with a cybersecurity-conscious, cybersecurity-capable enemy that any of our stuff is going to work."

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