(Washington, DC) Former Navy Vice Admiral, NSA Director and US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said today that the probability of a destructive cyber attack is 100% and that without good information sharing between government and industry the loss of lives and damage to property could be high. "In my mind, there is 100% certainty that cyber attacks will occur," McConnell said at the EnergyBiz Forum on Securing Power here.
Repeating the growing mantra of current and former top government officials that Congress needs to pass a cybersecurity bill, McConnell said "we are a nation with a strategic vulnerability and we have the information to deal with the vulnerability and we must share information between the government and private sector. [I]f we don't share [information] and share it frequently, we are going to have a major loss of life and damage of property.
"We need legislation that forces the government to provide classified information to the private sector," he stressed. However, "it should be sanitized to make information of value available to you."
In terms of the most vulnerable critical infrastructure likely to experience a cyber attack, "I would probably choose banking or power and I would choose the hottest part of the summer or the coldest part of the winter," McConnell said. "Just imagine being in New York City in the middle of the summer with no power."