The head of the US National Security Agency (NSA) has urged top computer security specialists to harden the nation’s critical infrastructure against ”inevitable” destructive cyber attacks.
“This is an important time,” Gen Keith Alexander, who is also the head of the Pentagon’s US cyber command, said during a presentation at a conference in San Francisco, on Thursday.
“Most of the destructive tools being developed haven’t been used; we need to use this window of opportunity to develop defences.”
The US military should have the authority to defend “critical networks” from malware and other disruptions, Alexander said, adding that the NSA’s “active defences” designed to defend military networks should be extended to civilian government agencies, and then key private-sector networks as well.
“I believe we have the talent to build a cyber-secure capability that protects our civil liberties and our privacy,” Alexander said.