Government Official: Terrorists Lack Tech Skills to Pull Off Large-scale Cyber Blitz

Daniel Benjamin, State Department

A senior counterterrorism official says terrorist groups do not yet have the technical skills to launch a major cyber attack against the United States, The Associated Press reports.

Daniel Benjamin, State Department counterterrorism coordinator, said while insurgents are pursuing the emerging threat of such an attack, the majority of Internet-based assaults are carried out by other nations or small groups of hackers.

“They don’t have the skill set yet,” Benjamin told reporters yesterday, according to National Defense. “The cyber threat is growing, but it is not first and foremost a terrorist threat. It is a state-on-state threat.”

Terrorist groups mainly use the Internet for propaganda and to recruit, Benjamin said, and the first priority for U.S. officials is to develop ways to fight adversaries in cyberspace, AP reported.

Benjamin’s remarks come in the wake of recent cyber attacks that targeted private-sector companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Sony, as well as FBI affiliate InfraGard and the U.S. Senate.

 

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