Daily Ticker

Michael Chertoff: Cyberattacks Are The Biggest Risk Facing America

Follow The Daily Ticker on Facebook!

There have been a number of high-profile cyberattacks on multinationals in the last few years, including Lockheed Martin (LMT), Northrop-Grumman (NOC), Sony (SNE), Google (GOOG) to Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA), among others. (See: Cyberattacks: A National Security Threat Largely Being Ignored)

A new, first of its kind report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), estimates cyberattacks jumped 650% from 2006 to 2010.

Sixty percent of U.S. companies reported security breaches, according to the annual report which was commissioned by President Barack Obama last year to assess the country's ability to respond to natural disasters and other natural security threats. Fifty percent of "high-priority facilities" like those that manage the country's electrical grids reported having been attacked.

Cybersecurity was the biggest area of concern for state and local governments with only 42% of officials believing their capabilities adequate enough to respond to such a threat and 45% of officials said they had no formal program to prevent or fend off an attack, according to the report, which was released on Thursday.

Cyberattacks: "Biggest Threat We Currently Face"

Ahead of the release of this report, The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task sat down with former Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff to discuss the threat of cyberattacks on the U.S. and corporations.

"This is the biggest threat we currently face," says Chertoff, now the chairman of The Chertoff Group, a private sector company that advises businesses on cybersecurity-related issues. "Not only is there a concern about our critical infrastructure… but we are losing billions of dollars of intellectual property every year that is being stolen and it is resulting in job losses and damages to our economy."

Such illegal activity put nearly $400 billion in research spending at risk between 2009 and 2011, according to a National Counterintelligence Executive report issued last fall.

The biggest threat from cybersecurity, he believes, is coming from China. "The Chinese government has a national policy of economic espionage in cyberspace. In fact, the Chinese are the world's most active and persistent practitioners of cyber espionage today," Chertoff wrote in a WSJ op-ed earlier this year.

Due to the growing prevalence of cyberattacks, it seems cyber-warfare and espionage could become the new frontier for global combat as well as economic competition, as Aaron points out in the accompanying video.

"For many nation, they view the economic well-being of the country as part of their national security strategies. They will use their intelligence agencies as a way to enable their companies, their national champions, to compete in the market place," Chertoff says. "We don't do that in the United States. We keep the free-market separate from government, but as a result sometimes we have our rivals overseas stealing our assets."

Politics of Cybersecurity

There is an ongoing debate in Washington about how fight the impending threat from cyberattacks.

"This [threat] is not going away unless we do something about it," says Chertoff. But that may be easier said than done because, as usual, Democrats and Republicans cannot seem to agree on the best way to address the issue.

The House of Representatives recently passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which would make it easier for companies to share information about cyberattacks. The Senate has yet to vote on this legislation, but when it does, the bill is not likely to pass. And if it should get through the Senate, President Obama has threatened to veto the bill because he does not believe it goes far enough to protect critical infrastructure. The White House is also concerned CISPA encroaches upon civil liberties.

There are also two different bills floating around the Senate, but only one both Obama and Chertoff support, and that is the legislation proposed by Senators Joe Liberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). This bill would give the Department of Homeland Security the authority to monitor the nation's critical infrastructure and set mandatory security standards.

Many Republicans oppose the Lieberman-Collins bill because it would give the government authority to increase regulations, which conservatives argue hinders economic growth and job creation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest special interest group in America, is also lobbying against the bill.

"I like Lieberman-Collins because it has not only the information sharing but it also requires that our critical infrastructure raise its standard," says Chertoff. 'That being said, I think it is important to at least get the information sharing done. I'd rather see some of this pass than none of it."

  • Mitsubishi says overstated mileage for more vehicle models
    Mitsubishi says overstated mileage for more vehicle models Reuters - 6 minutes ago

    Mitsubishi Motors Corp said on Tuesday more of its vehicle models were involved in a mileage cheating scandal than initially stated, and that it would temporarily stop domestic sales of affected vehicles and compensate owners. Earlier in the day, … More »

  • Slowing German inflation puts pressure on ECB
    Slowing German inflation puts pressure on ECB Reuters - 20 minutes ago

    German annual inflation slowed unexpectedly in August, preliminary data showed on Tuesday, suggesting price pressures in Europe's largest economy remain weak despite the European Central Bank's ultra-loose monetary policy. The euro zone has … More »

  • Fed bets boost dollar, EU tax bill bites Apple Reuters - 26 minutes ago

    U.S. interest rate rise expectations pushed the dollar up for a seventh time in eight days on Tuesday, while Wall Street dealers braced for a bruising session for Apple after it was hit by a record $14.5 billion European tax bill. The dollar … More »

  • Iowa at center of debate over 'shadow insurance' deals
    Iowa at center of debate over 'shadow insurance' deals Associated Press - 39 minutes ago

    For cash-strapped life insurance companies, the deal sounds almost too good to be true: A state law allows them to create complex financial instruments to transfer liabilities to new subsidiaries, instantly ... … More »

  • Irish finance minister says EU Apple tax ruling bizarre, political Reuters - 41 minutes ago

    DUBLIN (Reuters) - An order by European Union antitrust regulators for Apple (AAPL.O) to pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in taxes is a bizarre exercise in politics, Ireland's finance minister ... … More »

  • Uganda grants 8 oil production licenses to Total, Tullow Associated Press - 42 minutes ago

    Uganda's government has issued eight oil production licenses to two foreign companies, moving the East African country closer to becoming a producer of crude. Five of the licenses were granted to Britain's ... … More »

  • Gold edges lower as focus shifts to U.S. payrolls data
    Gold edges lower as focus shifts to U.S. payrolls data Reuters - 56 minutes ago

    Gold fell on Tuesday after Federal Reserve officials sounded a hawkish note on interest rates, boosting the dollar, while attention turned to U.S. payrolls data this week for further clues on the pace of rate hikes. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on … More »

  • EU tax avoidance action could hurt foreign investment: U.S. Treasury Reuters - 1 hour 0 minutes ago

    The actions of European regulators could hurt foreign investment, the U.S. Treasury said on Tuesday after the European Commission ruled Apple must pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in taxes plus interest to the Irish government. "The … More »

  • EU trade chief says many countries shown support for TTIP Reuters - 1 hour 5 minutes ago

    Many EU countries have contacted the European Commission to express their support for the planned EU-U.S. free-trade deal (TTIP) after German and French ministers said talks should be ended, the EU trade chief said on Tuesday. "I do not agree that … More »

  • Data demand, M&A hopes propel valuations of European mast owners Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago

    Surging data traffic and a push to merge capital-intensive networks to cut costs are swelling the value of Europe's mobile infrastructure as it is gradually split away from the telecom industry that built it. The companies that operate cellular … More »

  • EDBI invests in LogRhythm to help enterprises detect and neutralise cyber threats
    EDBI invests in LogRhythm to help enterprises detect and neutralise cyber threats e27 - 1 hour 13 minutes ago

    LogRhythm helps organisations to reduce the time to detect and respond to cyber threats that have penetrated the enterprise perimeter or originated from within Less than a week after injecting money into RetailNext, EDBI — the VC investment arm of … More »

  • Oil prices rise on U.S. weather fears, OPEC speculation
    Oil prices rise on U.S. weather fears, OPEC speculation Reuters - 1 hour 15 minutes ago

    Oil futures rose on Tuesday supported by production suspensions in the U.S. Gulf due to an expected tropical storm and speculation that producers meeting in Algeria next month will act to prop up prices. Brent crude futures were trading at $49.53 … More »

  • China's Xi urges boost to economic reforms
    China's Xi urges boost to economic reforms Reuters - 1 hour 31 minutes ago

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China's key reforms have been smooth over the last three years, but implementation needs to be faster, Xinhua news agency said, citing a statement from a meeting chaired by President ... … More »

  • Apple ordered to pay record 13 bn-euro Irish tax bill
    Apple ordered to pay record 13 bn-euro Irish tax bill AFP News - 1 hour 33 minutes ago

    The European Union on Tuesday ordered Apple to pay a record 13 billion euros in back taxes in Ireland, saying deals allowing the US tech giant to pay almost no tax were illegal. In the latest in a series of rulings that has angered Washington, … More »

  • Warsaw looks to win more finance business in wake of Brexit
    Warsaw looks to win more finance business in wake of Brexit Reuters - 1 hour 37 minutes ago

    Poland's deputy prime minister is due to meet a string of banks in London this week as the country tries to boost its status as one of Europe's fastest growing financial centres and benefit from Britain's decision to leave the European Union. … More »

  • German minister says no sense in ending talks but TTIP has failed Reuters - 1 hour 40 minutes ago

    German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday there would not be an official declaration that negotiations on a free trade deal between the United States and the European Union had ended without an agreement although talks had de facto … More »

  • German economy minister backs EU decision to make Apple pay Ireland billions in tax Reuters - 1 hour 43 minutes ago

    BERLIN (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Tuesday backed a decision by EU antitrust regulators to demand that Apple pay up to 13 billion euros in taxes plus interest to the Irish government. ... … More »

  • All four big Chinese banks report rising bad loans
    All four big Chinese banks report rising bad loans AFP News - 1 hour 44 minutes ago

    All of China’s “Big Four” state-owned banks reported mounting bad loans in the first half of the year, statements showed, as the world's second-largest economy faces souring debt amid slowing growth. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the … More »

  • S. African school told to halt 'racist' hair policy
    S. African school told to halt 'racist' hair policy AFP News - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    A South African school was ordered Tuesday to suspend allegedly racist hairstyle regulations after black pupils said they had been called monkeys by teachers for wearing banned 'afros'. Local education authorities in Gauteng province gave Pretoria … More »

  • G-III Apparel reports 2Q loss Associated Press - 1 hour 51 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the New York-based company said it had a loss of 3 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 1 cent per share. The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average ... … More »

  • China lenders ICBC, BoC report near flat profits as margins shrink
    China lenders ICBC, BoC report near flat profits as margins shrink Reuters - 1 hour 53 minutes ago

    SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - Two of China's Big-Five banks, ICBC and BoC, reported on Tuesday near flat profits as margins shrank, mirroring results of other major domestic lenders that are feeling the pain of China's slowing economic growth that is … More »

  • U.S. unwillingness to compromise ended TTIP - German economy minister
    U.S. unwillingness to compromise ended TTIP - German economy minister Reuters - 2 hours 8 minutes ago

    German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Tuesday said the United States had effectively ended talks on a free trade deal with the European Union because Washington had not wanted to compromise with its European counterparts. The U.S. and the EU … More »

  • Dogs, like humans, distinguish words and intonation
    Dogs, like humans, distinguish words and intonation AFP News - 2 hours 10 minutes ago

    Dogs distinguish words and intonation in the same region of the brain as humans, according to a new study of how man's best friend interprets our language. Published Monday in the journal Science, the report by researchers at Budapest's Eotvos … More »

  • Canada PM touts agricultural safety amid China canola dispute Reuters - 2 hours 11 minutes ago

    Canadian farm goods are high quality and safe, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Beijing on Tuesday as his trade minister said Canada was working hard to resolve a canola import dispute that threatens C$2 billion (1.14 billion pounds) in … More »

  • China Evergrande first-half core profit tumbles by a quarter as costs rise Reuters - 2 hours 14 minutes ago

    China Evergrande Group, the country's second-largest homebuilder, posted a 23 percent drop in first-half core profit, weighed down by a slew of higher costs, including those for building materials to marketing. Highly acquisitive Evergrande has … More »

Editors' Picks

Subscribe and RSS

[X]

How to subscribe

Roll over each section to subscribe using Add to My Yahoo or RSS Feed feeds.

Yahoo News offers dozens of RSS feeds you can read on My Yahoo or using a third-party RSS news reader software. Click here to find out more about RSS and how you can use it with Yahoo News.
 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.