Quantum cryptography has been a Holy Grail for security researchers since the idea was proposed, the promise of a new standard in absolutely unbreakable communications. But it's a new standard in the Microsoft sense: "Use our brilliant new system, because we're making sure the old one doesn't work anymore."
There have been rumors and shadows of information flickering through the internet for the past few months suggesting that China has been covertly attacking computers in the US. The Pentagon has revealed that its servers have been hacked numerous times, and defense contractors are likewise blaming China for hacks in to their systems.
Furthermore, in the wake of the Tibet riots, pro-Tibet groups have suffered similar hacks, with information disappearing and websites being taken down.
The AP described it as a really bad day, but that somewhat understates the magnitude of it all. It, of course, refers to the “Cyber Storm” war game that the US Government held early 2006, in an attempt to gauge the necessary reaction and requisite skills of the games participants.
In the middle of this biggest-ever "Cyber Storm" war game to test the nation's hacker defenses, someone quietly targeted the very computers used to conduct the exercise.
CIA analyst Tom Donahue disclosed the recently declassified news about the cyber attacks that have shut down the power grids of several cities outside of the U.S. The cities’ utility systems were taken over, and demands were subsequently made by the hackers.
The goal of the attacks was extortion, Donahue confirmed. The criminals were able to hack into computer systems via the Internet and gained access to cut power to entire cities.
Although actual full-scale acts of cyber-warfare or cyber- are somewhat rare, the recent alleged Chinese hack of a Pentagon email system has brought the issue back into the spotlight. Experts over the past several years have warned that cyber warfare will become ever more common in our increasingly connected world.