All Volumes (2001-2008)


Ryan Tesnow


Volume VII, 2008

Document Type


Publication Date



Cyber terrorism is the new ever evolving enemy of our future. Its impact on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, which function within all America’s physical and cyber infrastructure, is so complex and perilous critical action must be taken. Over 75% of the world’s oil and gas pipelines are monitored and controlled by SCADA systems (Lewis 229). Factor in that almost 78% of internet attacks are traced overseas we must be aware of the 1.2 billion internet users worldwide (Verton). With over 5,000 airports, 3,000 government facilities, 104 commercial nuclear power plants, 5, 800 hospitals, 8,000 dams, and over 1,600 wastewater facilities we are all slaves to electrical power and in turn, the reliability of our cyber infrastructure (Verton). However, our biggest risk may lay in the fact that over 85% of our infrastructure is owned privately where cost efficiency flies high above systematic security. In my study I conducted more than ten interviews with high ranking government officials and also cyber security analysts. The hypothesis that our physical and cyber infrastructure are in critical danger was strongly supported by my research. Fundamentally, as technology continues to expand and systematic security becomes more necessary we must be skeptical of those that find solace in solely cost efficient initiatives.