Robert Gates: "cyberterrorism" is worst WMD out there?

Kevin Poulsen at Wired News' 27bStroke6 blog writes:

The president's choice for new defense secretary believes in "cyberterrorism." From this 2004 AP article:

Cyberterrorism could be the most devastating weapon of mass destruction yet and could cripple the U.S. economy, former CIA Director Robert Gates said at a terrorism conference Saturday.

We interrupt this block quote to say: please!, let that be hyperbole by the AP, and not an accurate reflection of what's in our next defense secretary's head. Continuing …

Gates, who became Texas A&M University's president in 2002 about a decade after he left the CIA, cited as an example the "love bug" virus that overwhelmed computer systems around the world in 2000.

"When a teenage hacker in the Philippines overnight can wreak $10 billion in damage to the U.S. economy by implanting a virus, imagine what a sophisticated, well-funded effort to attack the computer base of our economy could accomplish," said Gates, addressing the two-day conference at Rice University.


Reader comment: Nelson Cunnington says,

All it takes is one determined Cyberman (or Cyberwoman). But he shouldn't worry, they always attack the UK first.