The Wall St. Journal published an interesting article yesterday about cyberspies from Russia and China installing malware on the US electricity grid. The malware is currently benign. However, the fear among national security officials is that the malware could be activated during a crisis or war and disrupt the US electricity grid.
Cybersecurity is truly a matter of national security. This article highlights the direct threat of cyberspies who may try to disrupt our national infrastructure. However, equally risky is the threat of cybercriminals who, if unchecked, will disrupt commerce and advertising on the Internet. By undermining consumers' and businesses' confidence in the Internet, cybercriminals will erode the progress that we have achieved over the last 10-15 years with conducting business online. This will ultimately hurt the US (and global) economy, at a time when the economy does not need another reason to be down. Thus, in order to maintain national security, the government should address both cybercriminal activity (which does not necessarily target government assets), in addition to locking down government infrastructure (like the electricity grid).