U.S. gets new cyberterrorism security center

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A new private-sector cyberterrorism security center that aims to watch over much of the nation's critical business infrastructure with its own real-time cyberthreat-detection network opened here today at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Cyber Incident Detection Data Analysis Center (CIDDAC) was unveiled as a real-time defense against cybercrime and cyberterrorism for key businesses in the U.S. that could be targeted by terrorists.

Charles "Buck" Fleming, executive director of CIDDAC, said the organization is believed to be the first private, nonprofit group to set up a cybercrime-detection network outside of the government's own efforts to watch over critical business operations. The group's concern, he said, is that without constant monitoring, critical U.S. industries such as banking, transportation, energy, 911 services and water supply systems could be disrupted by terrorists or criminals -- with disastrous results for the country and the U.S. economy.

While government agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security already get reports of cybercrime and cyberterrorism, the agencies aren't always able to respond to threats immediately because of red tape. And companies that are victims aren't always happy to share their information with the government, Fleming said.

"Eighty-five percent of all the [nation's] data is in the private sector, so we realized this has to be a private sector operation," he said. "Companies don't want the FBI looking at their information, even if they're not doing something wrong."

Fleming added, "We realized that coming down the road there are major potential problems that are not being addressed right now." continued>>