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Reacting to Potential Cyber Attacks

Last week, several computer-related glitches hit United Airlines, the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street Journal, prompting many to speculate these entities were the subject of a cyber attack. All three were able to resume normal operations later in the day and each went on to state they faced several issues that weren’t related to an attack.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security went on to publicly back these statements; however, some, including members of congress, remain skeptical of the press releases.

During the course of this uncertainly, public statements from experts and layman alike were actively discussing the possibility of a cyber attack almost immediately following the initial media reports. With the prevalence of discussion in the public sphere of the threats presented to the general public from cyber attacks – whether state-sponsored or otherwise – it is no surprise that these issues on Wednesday fell under suspicion so quickly.

Truth be told, these institutions have been targeted frequently, further adding to the early snap analysis, that, at this moment, appears to be false. That said, it is still possible that some bad actors had a hand in some of Wednesday’s widespread misfortunes.

The public jumped on the possibility of an attack quickly, but they weren’t alone. US government agencies, likely concerned with the possibility of an attack, or at the very least a disruption to US infrastructure, did reach out to the affected parties.

This is important, because whether it was an attack or not doesn’t change the need to respond. What does change is how the response takes shape. This depends on evidence, or at least suspicious circumstances that require further investigation. It is vital to treat potential attacks as the real thing otherwise evidence can be lost and the delay in getting the right agencies and people in place can further impact the entities most directly affected.

Read complete report here.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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