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Run for your life! It's the North Korean hackers!

Tom Jackson • Mar 23, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Do you remember where you were when you heard about North Korea's devastating surprise attack?

Nope, I can't remember, either.

During the first week of July, though, there were big news stories about how North Korean hackers had shut down government Web sites. The Wall Street Journal, for example, ran a very long story.

Computer security expert Bruce Schneier says it was much ado about not very much.

"My guess is that you didn't even notice, that -- if you didn't open a newspaper or read a news website -- you had no idea anything was happening. Sure, a few government websites were knocked out, but that's not alarming or even uncommon. Other government websites were attacked but defended themselves, the sort of thing that happens all the time. If this is what an international cyberattack looks like, it hardly seems worth worrying about at all."

It's important to secure computer networks, but it's not necessary to panic, Schneier said. "The news isn't the attacks, but that some networks had security lousy enough to be vulnerable to them."

No doubt, someone will use what happened as an excuse to spend lots of tax money and create a new government agency.

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