Friday, December 10, 2010

The recent distribution of sensitive and classified U.S. documents by WikiLeaks has caused an enormous uproar within the Beltway as well as capital cities and embassies around the world, providing fodder for talking heads and pundits alike around the globe.

While the WikiLeaks release is considered to have caused significant diplomatic and national-security damage, there is a fundamental consequence which is now only receiving the attention it deserves.

Several American private corporations and a few international corporations came under cyberattack by so-called supporters of WikiLeaks. It is believed that WikiLeaks sympathizers employed a distributed denial-of-service attack (a nefarious effort to ensure an Internet portal is unable to operate as a consequence of an unnatural volume of user-page requests) against the likes of Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, EveryDNS, the Swiss firm PostFinance and a few political-action committee websites deemed unsavory.



There is much to be learned by the failures we have seen in recent days and months, but the true test is yet to come. It is clear that fellow allies and U.S. corporate entities alike are currently under full-scale attack as retribution for actions taken to protect shareholder and national interests.

Ignoring the economic realities of today and the financial implications of such cyberattacks serve to undermine the fundamental purpose of government. If the embarrassment and real-life consequences weren’t enough, our fragile economy and some of its most important contributors to job growth appear to be standing alone to thwart a clear and present danger.

TIM COLEMAN

Washington

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