On October 12, 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned that the United States could face a “cyber Pearl Harbor” as cyber actors launch simultaneous attacks on our critical infrastructure, in combination with a physical attack. Mr. Panetta’s warning was both embarrassingly late and stunningly lacking in both reality and imagination. Lawrence Husick, FPRI’s co-chair the Center for the Study of Terrorism, and a patent attorney and self-described computer hacker, will address the threat that faces the nation, and why both public and private sector perceptions of the threat and reactions to it give little hope that we will be able to avert serious consequences of disruption and violence in the cyber domain. Mr. Husick’s June 2011 briefing on this topic was described by former National Security Advisor Robert “Bud” McFarlane as, “the best I’ve heard from anyone anywhere.”
Edward Turzanski is Co-Chairman of FPRI’s Center for the Study of Terrorism and he is FPRI’s first Templeton Fellow. He has extensive experience in service to the US intelligence community in the Middle East and Central Asia. He regularly appears on air, offering commentary on CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and assorted international media organizations. During the Bush (43) Administration, he was a member of the U.S. Department of Justice Anti-Terror Advisory Committee for Region III and the Department of Homeland Security Port Security Committee for the Port of Philadelphia.