A former senior intelligence official has warned that a full-scale cyber-attack against the United States by a terrorist organization is “a certitude.”
The official also told Fox News that cyber-terrorists operating in the digital realm routinely steal and launder money in an effort to finance their operations.
Meanwhile, FBI director Robert Mueller told the House Appropriations Committee he was concerned over the possibility of a “cyber one-two punch,” in which intellectual property is stolen and used to interfere, jam or disrupt operations on the battlefield.
“Certainly long term threat is by nation states who are finding new and ingenious ways to exfiltrate information,” Mueller explained in a briefing on Wednesday.
“On the one hand developing new technology for any future conflict, or on the other hand enabling them to disable our technology during in a time of war.”
Mueller also noted that terrorists may perceive cyber-attacks as an effective means of circumventing post-9/11 security, which is focused on halting physical attacks, rather than digital infiltrations.
“Terrorists have not [yet] used the Internet to launch a full-scale cyberattack, but we cannot underestimate their intent. Our companies are targeted for insider information, and our universities and national laboratories are targeted for their research and development. Our ability to work internationally is absolutely essential in order to address the cyber arena.
“We have strategically placed agents with our counterparts in countries like Romania, the Ukraine, Estonia and the like, where much of the activity takes place. Down the road, if a country steals those secrets that will enable that country to overwhelm us in the field of battle someplace, that is something that is a threat and ultimately may be a more serious threat,” he added.