The most challenging cyberattacks these days come from China and target Western firms' trade secrets and intellectual property. But a problem for some is a business opportunity for others: It's boom time for cybersecurity firms that specialize in going after Chinese hackers.
"It's the next big thing," says Richard Stiennon, an industry analyst who specializes in information security firms.
Cybersecurity analysts work in the watch and warning center during the first tour of the government's secretive cyberdefense lab intended to protect the nation's power, water and chemical plants, electrical grid and other facilities on Sept. 29, 2011, in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
For the CEOs of companies such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, talk of cyberweapons and cyberwar could have been abstract. But at a classified security briefing in spring 2010, it suddenly became quite real.
"We can turn your computer into a brick," U.S. officials told the startled executives, according to a participant in the meeting.
Facebook started what's called a "road show" this week, pitching itself to potential big investors across the country. It's one of the last steps before a company goes public — which Facebook reportedly plans to do next Friday.
But that pitch has to be very carefully calibrated — as you can tell from all the warning language that precedes it on Facebook's road show website.
Business executives and national security leaders are of one mind over the need to improve the security of the computers that control the U.S. power grid, the financial system, water treatment facilities and other elements of critical U.S. infrastructure. But they divide over the question of who bears responsibility for that effort.
The disagreement stands as an obstacle to passage of major cybersecurity legislation backed by Sens. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Susan Collins of Maine, among others.