We've heard a lot about how the state of Florida is trying to prevent terrorist attacks, but it's been quietly beefing up another line of defense, trying to thwart cyber-terrorism.
A workshop at FSU Wednesday brought out experts who fight these crimes with the click of a mouse.
Computers monitor electricity usage to many of Tallahassee’s 100,000 customers. For their ability to leave the city in the dark and many businesses and state agencies at a standstill, they're a prime target for cyber-terrorists.
“We haven't seen such attacks yet, but the potential is there that a group of experts will work with the bad guys to do a very wide attack,” comments YVO Desmedt, FSU Information Security Expert.
The men and women who gathered at FSU Wednesday didn't wear fatigues or carry guns, but they are on the front lines trying to thwart cyber-terrorists. Terrorists who could infect computer systems with viruses and cripple critical infrastructure.
"When you look at the slammer worm that hit us a couple of weeks ago, there were numerous servers throughout Florida that were victims of the attack. Luckily the author did not attach a payload to it. but had they attached a payload to it, it would have done major damage in the state of Florida,” says Bob Breeden of FDLE Computer Crime Center.
FDLE is part of a new cyber security institute training more officers to fight cyber-crime, and encouraging more students to study it. FSU’s cyber-security lab known as SAIT is the only one of its kind in Florida. It hosted Wednesday’s cyber-terrorism conference, which included representatives of the National Security Agency and the Department of Defense.