(CNN) -- It is June, the children are out of school, and as highways and airports fill with vacationers, rolling power outages hit sections of Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington and New York. An airliner is mysteriously knocked off the flight control system and crashes in Kansas.
Parts of the 911 service in Washington fail, supervisors at the Department of Defense discover that their e-mail and telephone services are disrupted and officers aboard a U.S. Navy cruiser find that their computer systems have been attacked.
"If somebody wanted to launch an attack, it would not be at all difficult."
"Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, chairman of a Senate technology subcommittee, reported that nearly two-thirds of U.S. government computers systems have security holes. "
-- Fred B. Schneider, a professor of computer science at Cornell University
As incidents mount, the stock market drops precipitously, and panic surges through the population.
Unlikely? Hardly. The "electronic Pearl Harbor" that White House terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke fears is not just a threat, it has already happened.
Much of the scenario above -- except for the plane and stock market crashes and the panic -- occurred in 1997 when 35 hackers hired by the National Security Agency launched simulated attacks on the U.S. electronic infrastructure.
"Eligible Receiver," as the exercise was called, achieved "root level" access in 36 of the Department of Defense's 40,000 networks. The simulated attack also "turned off" sections of the U.S. power grid, "shut down" parts of the 911 network in Washington, D.C., and other cities and gained access to systems aboard a Navy cruiser at sea.
At a hearing in November 1997, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, chairman of a Senate technology subcommittee, reported that nearly two-thirds of U.S. government computers systems have security holes.
"If somebody wanted to launch an attack," says Fred B. Schneider, a professor of computer science at Cornell University, "it would not be at all difficult."
stupid americans and there security systems :-)