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Threat of International Cyber Attacks

The news outlets have been reporting that the Chinese have allegedly been hacking into American infrastructures. Assuming this report is accurate, the United States is not equipped to handle the consequences of such an attack. These hackers would possess the power to disable the critical infrastructure in this country, eliminating electricity, gas, water, and all major transit systems. Indeed, earlier this year, both The New York Times and The Wall Street reported that hackers had infiltrated their systems and stolen confidential employee information. The New York Times has further reported that it has been experiencing constant attacks from the Chinese in an attempt to control information that pertains to China. The Ministry of National Defense in China denies any such cyberattack on The New York Times. In light of these recent developments, it has become increasingly important for individuals and businesses to take steps to ensure their cyber protection. By serving California and Washington D.C., the skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Salar Atrizadeh successfully work on legal matters pertaining to cybersecurity and Internet law.

The former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, has described the scene that will unfold after such an attack as a “cyber Pearl Harbor.” Indeed, these hackers could possess software with the capacity to destroy infrastructure hardware. Such an attack would spread chaos throughout the country for months while the government works to restore its vital systems. Pointing to the failed Cybersecurity Act of 2012, Panetta has called upon the private citizens and businesses to act to secure their cybersecurity. Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, confirmed that this was a crisis that required global attention.

These instances of “cyberterrorism” threaten to cause damage far beyond the destruction of 9/11. Mandiant, a cyber-security company based in the United States, traces these cyber-attacks to the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese military. The efforts in America to make sense of these attacks have not led to any definitive answers. The dangers of cyber-attacks are apparent in the recent attack on Aramco, the Saudi Arabian oil company. The attack consisted of a virus, which destroyed 30,000 Aramco computers, and replaced essential files within the system with an image of an American flag burning. There was also a reported cyber-attack on Telvent (now known as Schneider Electric), an international corporation that provides companies with the network and connections to remotely control power grids, oil pipelines, and gas pipelines. It remains unclear whether the hacking efforts are meant to steal confidential information, or whether the hacking is part of a larger scheme to derail vital American infrastructures. Indeed, the threat may not be limited to the Chinese, but rather part of a greater effort to launch an attack against American cybersecurity. This certainly poses a threat not only for national security, but also for individual cyber-security involving consumers and businesses that compose and participate in the crucial business and technology infrastructures.

At the Law Offices of Salar Atrizadeh, we guide our clients in legal matters by using extensive knowledge and skills to create innovative solutions. Please contact us today to set up a confidential consultation.