(Cyberwar.news) The next terrorist attacks are most likely to be against U.S. power grids, dams, air traffic control centers and other areas of vital infrastructure, said the co-author of a controversial cyber security bill in recent days, the Washington Examiner reported.
Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., may not appeal to all Americans politically, but she is serious about cyber security and has been playing a key role in fighting cyber attacks against the U.S. Now she is raising new concerns over street-view mapping sites like Google, which she believes are revealing too much information.
But the co-author of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 also said that terrorists are moving so fast to outsmart authorities in the cyber realm that the nation’s critically important infrastructure are under threat, and that if brought down would affect tens of millions of Americans.
“I believe that it’s only a matter of time before these attacks progress to our critical infrastructure like the electric grid, dams, air traffic control, and other key systems,” she said, the Washington Examiner reported. “When that happens, we won’t be talking about stolen money, or destroyed systems, we’ll be talking about thousands of lives that have been endangered.”
There has been, in recent years, increasing concern among the American public for better Internet security, especially after a series of recent breaches, but Feinstein says she has received pushback from a number of quarters. Still, she’s not ready to give up the fight against cyber terrorism and other online threats.
Her next major effort is aimed at preventing data breaches. She said the public has a right to know when their data has been stolen or compromised, and that includes when Google takes a high-resolution photo of homes for their street view mapping system.
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“People are entitled to know to protect themselves,” Feinstein told a legal conference recently at the Washington, D.C., firm Arent Fox.
“We all know that we are all tracked, our devices become more sophisticated, facial recognition is becoming a major focus…our homes are on Google, sometimes with so much clarity that you worry that about them being a place that someone is going to burglarize,” she warned.
That comment struck home with one audience member – a federal law enforcement officer who said his personal information and address were stolen recently in the Office of Personnel Management data hack, which has been blamed on China. He added that he’s worried potential terrorists will use Google Street View to find his home and threaten his family.
Though legislation and federal agencies can help limit cyber attacks, Feinstein said, it may take a massive technological revamp to the Internet to really improve security.
“Some have suggested a 2.0 system to replace the current Internet,” she said, noting that she recently discussed the issue with Cisco’s head of technology and during a classified session with the government’s national laboratories.
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