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Mariotti's Novel 'THE SILENCE' Warns of Cyber-Conspiracy Threat

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posted on Aug, 25 2003 @ 08:40 PM

Press Release Source: John Mariotti

The Next Worm Could Disable U.S. Communications and Computers; Mariotti's Novel 'THE SILENCE' Warns of Cyber-Conspiracy Threat
Thursday August 21, 12:34 pm ET

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- "If you think the recent blackout in the Northeastern US wreaked havoc, watch out for the attack of the 'Worms,'" says executive and author John Mariotti. "The Sobig F and Blaster worms are just warm-ups for the real attack," states Mariotti a noted corporate executive, business writer and novelist. "Nobody paid attention to the warnings before 9/11, and nobody is listening to the warnings now."

"When I wrote 'THE SILENCE,' I knew the technology existed to plant 'back doors and Trojan Horses' in millions of computers. When an evil force takes control of all those computers, the US's entire communications and computer infrastructure is vulnerable," warns Mariotti. "The gaps in Microsoft's widely used software worsen the risk, but the real tragedy is the total inability of Homeland Security to deal with cyber-security. It is bogged down in a morass of indecision and confusion."

When asked why warnings like "THE SILENCE" are being ignored, Mariotti said, "There is no central authority in communications and information technology, therefore a sort of technological anarchy exists. With no central organizing body, there is no coordination. The US government agencies, the FBI, CIA, et. al. have difficulty just coordinating their own systems and are ill-equipped to solve a crisis of massive proportions in this field."

The government is fighting wars on too many fronts to worry about a hypothetical cyber-attack. But no one believed the gruesome ending Tom Clancy's novel "Debt of Honor" could be a prophecy of future terrorist attacks -- but sadly, it was. Mariotti's reaction to this, "I hope this is 'much ado about nothing,' but I fear it isn't. A cyber-terrorist attack in the near future is a virtual certainty. All that's uncertain is when and whether it will end like 'THE SILENCE.'"

Well-known technology writers have written about the risks recently, including George Hulme in Information Week, Simson Garfinkel in MIT Technology Review and Dan Verton of ComputerWorld, in his book entitled "Black Ice." Garfinkel called the recent plethora of worm attacks "proofs of concept" for a cyber-attack. Verton's novel draws on prior crisis simulations that are chillingly close to reality.

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