Action needed against hackers

Published 9:16 pm Saturday, April 18, 2009

It seems the U.S. government is looking to fight cyberfire with cyberfire, at least when it comes to the threat of hackers and terrorism.

The Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security are seeking to triple the number of cyberexperts trained to “think like the bad guys.”

These on-staff hackers are needed to help understand hackers’ tools and traffics, to analyze the Internet and traffic and to monitor federal systems for potential breaches and security concerns.

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Sounds like a solid plan to us.

Just last week, word leaked out that our nation’s electrical grids have been compromised by computer hackers – probably Chinese or Russians, reports alleged – who have infiltrated the systems and left behind software and programs which, when activated, could shut down our nation’s entire system.

Exactly how these folks got in – and how we can get them out – remains a mystery.

In this information age, technology is power and America must be prepared to fight against terrorism on all fronts. We must defend our country from attacks at its weakest points, and our computer-based infrastructure is one of those weakest points. We are almost totally dependent on computer systems, for everything from our banking to our groceries, our gas in our cars to our electricity to run our homes, to the computers that run our government and our national defense system. It seems to us that protecting the security of those systems needs to be job one.

So when a government agent warns, “we’re clearly not as prepared as we should be,” we need to take heed, and take action.

For the sake of our nation and our future.