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Beltway sniper takes out FBI cyber-sleuth

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An armed lunatic plaguing the Washington, DC area has managed to do more harm to American cyber-defence with a single .223 caliber bullet than an entire squadron of PLA hackers could hope to accomplish, Vmyths editor Rob Rosenberger points out in a recent rant.

FBI National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) cyber-analyst Linda Franklin became the Beltway sniper's eleventh victim shot and ninth victim murdered last Monday as she loaded her car with merchandise in a suburban DC shopping mall.

For Rosenberger it's an opportunity to consider the irony of the federal government's cyber-terror fear mongering.

"A single bullet took out more 'computing' power at FBI NIPC than a cyber-terrorist could ever hope to achieve. Second: this assassination inflicted a quantifiable, tangible damage both in terms of money (e.g. casualty insurance) and lost manpower, which is something the FBI and the White House cannot quantify when it comes to the non-existent cyber-terrorism they fear so much," he observes.

He points out as well the ease with which lost computer files, unlike people, can be restored from backup and wonders why the US government persists in its cyber-terror FUD campaign when every American has seen for himself the effects of real-world terrorism.

Bombs and bullets kill people; computer viruses and DoS attacks merely irritate us. The widower of Linda Frankin knows this all too well. One wonders when NSC cyber-Cassandra Richard Clarke and former MS security failure Howard Schmidt -- now a White house advisor on cybersecurity who allowed Outlook to run executables with no user interaction -- will get a similar clue. One can only hope they'll get one without having to suffer such a painful illustration as Franklin's husband got. ®

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