Cyber threat

Wednesday, 24 September 2003, 9:37 AM EST

Evildoers commandeer thousands of home computers, creating a virtual army that knocks down chunks of the Internet. Computer infections hit a nuclear plant, crash a 911 system, snarl train service and shut down ATMs. A neighborhood glitch compromises air traffic control computers.

It's all happened before, security experts say.

Luckily for America, it hasn't happened all at once ó yet.

There is skepticism, but some fear it could. The recent accidental power outage which took out tens of millions of electricity consumers also spurred concerns.

"The Northeast power blackout Ö could happen as a result of a terrorist attack using cyber [methods]," said Richard Clarke, America's former cybersecurity czar, now an ABCNEWS consultant.

[ Read more ]

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