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Thursday, November 30, 2006

There’s no bullet-proof network system – Nwabueze

Executive chairman of United States-based Sage Metrics Corporation and a member of US Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Mr. Ken Emeka Nwabueze, has said that there is nothing like a bullet-proof network system.

Speaking as a special guest in his keynote address to the just concluded “Law Enforcement and National Security in the Digital Economy” organised by the Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group (NCWG) in the nation’s capital, Abuja, he noted that providing a secured cyberspace is a complex and evolving challenge.

“Hence, there is no such thing as bullet proof network system,” he asserted.

Nigerian-born Advisor to the United States President, also buttressed his point with the January 2003 ‘slammer worm ‘ which was reported to had infected 90 per cent of vulnerable computers globally within 10 minutes of its release on the Internet.

This, he said, severely degraded Bank of America’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM) network causing billions of dollar damages.

Equally, he said, that in the US, a hacker released intentionally hundreds of thousands of gallons of putrid sludge from the wastewater system and 17 per cent of the `100 companies surveyed reported being the target of some form of cyber extortion.

He pointed out that in February 2005, PCAST committee on “Cybersecurity: A crisis of Prioritisations” noted that Information Technology “infrastructure of the United States is highly vulnerable to terrorist and criminal attacks.”

Mr. Nwabueze went on to say that cybercrime are issues of national security, which is beyond mere electronic commerce, web browsing, and other basic online activities.

Lack of adequate national cyber security policy and systems, he said, would impact negatively on the economy and at large the society.

Therefore, it requires close collaboration with key sectors of the economy that relies on cyberspace such as governments at all levels, colleges and universities, banks and corporation as well as law enforcement organisations.
He further warned that a nation like Nigeria among other developing countries of the world continue to migrate major businesses and government infrastructure to Internet Protocol (IP) and other network-based systems, “so will the growing risks of a potential melt down of the economy and disintegration of the country’s core infrastructure.”

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