SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10652]
TERRORIST THREATS TO THE UNITED STATES
SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
MAY 23, 2000
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SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey, Chairman
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
FLOYD D. SPENCE, ex officio, South Carolina
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
IKE SKELTON, ex officio, Missouri
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David Trachtenberg, Professional Staff Member
Lisa Wetzel, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Tuesday, May 23, 2000, Biological, Nuclear, and Cyber Terrorism Threats
Tuesday, May 23, 2000
TUESDAY, MAY 23, 2000
BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR, AND CYBER TERRORISM THREATS
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Saxton, Hon. Jim, a Representative from New Jersey, Chairman, Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism
Snyder, Hon. Vic, a Representative from Arkansas, Ranking Member, Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism
Alibek, Dr. Kenneth, Chief Scientist, Hadron, Inc., Former First Deputy Chief, Biopreparat (USSR)
Cikotas, Bronius, Former EMP Division Chief, Defense Nuclear Agency
Denning, Dr. Dorothy E., Professor of Computer Science, Georgetown University
[The Prepared Statements submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Alibek, Dr. Kenneth
Denning, Dr. Dorothy E.
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Saxton, Hon. Jim
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Questions and Answers submitted for the Record.]
BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR, AND CYBER TERRORISM THREATS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism,
Washington, DC, Tuesday, May 23, 2000.
The Panel met, pursuant to call, at 2:00 p.m. in Room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Jim Saxton (Chairman of the Panel) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW JERSEY, CHAIRMAN, SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
Mr. SAXTON. Having met in closed session this morning, this Oversight Panel on Terrorism convenes this afternoon for our first ever open session, and this hearing, I believe, will be a great way for us to start our duties.
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This is, I think, an auspicious day. I personally have been studying and working actively on these issues for over ten years. Many of us from both parties have for years been watching terrorism evolve into an even greater threat.
We have been increasingly concerned that the growing threat is not understood or its implications thoroughly appreciated. For that reason, I and my colleagues have sought the establishment of this Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ranking Member Mr. Snyder for helping it to come about, as well as the Chairman of the full Committee, Mr. Spence.
Through this Panel we hope to cast a spotlight on terrorism and related emerging threats. One of the chief goals is to illuminate the rapid emergence of what amounts to what I call ''new terrorism'', different in kind and potentially vastly more destructive than the terrorism that we knew during the Cold War or during the last decade.
This Panel will dissect the evolving phenomenon of that terrorism. Our objective is to understand how terrorism is changing and where the terrorist threat may be going so that policymakers and the public will be better positioned to make informed decisions on what to do about the threat.
Therefore, in keeping with the purpose of this Panel to explore disturbing new aspects of terrorism, it is appropriate that our first hearing deal with the ''cutting-edge'' terrorist threats, biological terrorism, nuclear terrorism, and cyberterrorism.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Biological weapons are becoming easier for state and nonstate actors to develop as biological technologies proliferate. Indeed, many of the same technologies that are used for benign medical research or for innocuous commercial purposes, such as the fermentation of beer, can be used for manufacturing biological weapons.
Biological weapons are relatively inexpensive and easy to make, and yet are potentially deadlier even than nuclear weapons. Future terrorists wishing to wreak havoc and mass casualties may well turn to these new strains of biological weapons.
Nuclear terrorism, regarded as the stuff of fictional novels and movies during the Cold War, is now widely regarded as plausible. Lax security at Russian nuclear weapons storage sites and laboratories and powerful plants where nuclear materials are available raises the possibility of threats of the sale of nuclear weapons to terrorist groups.
Terrorists armed with short-range missiles, which these days can be purchased even by arms collectors and museums on the international market and armed with nuclear weapons, could conceivably make an electronic attack against the United States.
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack could incapacitate power grids, communications, computer systems, and even electronic infrastructure that makes modern society possible. Terrorists will also build or acquire radio frequency weapons and use them for nonnuclear devices to selectively damage crucial parts of the United States' electronic infrastructure.
For example, a radio frequency weapon detonated on Wall Street could erase electronic business records and cause billions of dollars worth of damage to the U.S. economy, and, in fact, bring it to a halt, or a relatively small radio frequency weapon built from readily available technology could be used by terrorists parked at the end of the airport runway to debilitate airplanes taking off or landing.
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Cyberterrorists could use information warfare techniques to manipulate computer systems or disrupt or incapacitate power grids and other infrastructure without resort to nuclear or radio frequency weapons.
The ILOVEYOU virus is a recent example of cyberterrorism that disrupted governments and industry worldwide and may foreshadow far more serious destruction that could be inflicted by cyberterrorists.
We have today a panel which I will introduce when we return from our votes.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Saxton can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. I yield to Mr. Snyder, the Ranking Member, for any statement.
STATEMENT OF HON. VIC SNYDER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM ARKANSAS, RANKING MEMBER, SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for your long interest in this topic, and for your efforts in bringing about the formation of this Panel.
I have heard it said that you have a better chance in this country of dying from a lightning strike than from a terrorist incident. I suspect that is probably true. But being from Arkansas, we very much know that lightning does indeed strike, in the case of terrorism with some dramatic results.
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I saw a friend of mine on Saturday. I just happened to be at a party where he was. He will be going to Europe soon because his son was killed in the Lockerbie disaster. Another friend of mine, also from Arkansas, was working in Kenya for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and was on the phone talking to the embassy when that bomb went off. They immediately went to the site and spent the next literally several days hoping to find survivors. All they found, of course, were bodies.
So lightning does indeed strike, and with dramatic and devastating results.
This is an oversight Panel, and my particular interest in this, and I guess it is not the very sexy part of it, but I am going to be interested in seeing if I can figure out are there things we should be doing better and more efficiently than what we are doing, both in the executive level and also in the Congress.
It has seemed to me and to some others that we have talked to that we have this cyberterrorism, antiterrorism function, and it is spread out through a variety of different subcommittees, through a variety of different branches of government, perhaps to our detriment.
Any comments that you might want to make when we get back, if that is a particular interest of yours, I would be interested in hearing about.
Thanks to you again, Mr. Chairman, for convening this Panel.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Snyder.
Let me just go ahead and introduce this panel so members of the staff and perhaps people who are interested in the audience may wish to chat with these three folks. They are all great folks and real experts in their field.
First, Dr. Ken Alibek, seated to my right, is the chief scientist at Hadron, Inc., and was the deputy chief of Biopreparat, a leading biological weapons laboratory in the former Soviet Union. Ken, who has become a friend, a good friend of mine, defected to this Country in 1992 and has brought with him information which has been extremely helpful for us in preparing to deal with potential biological weapons attacks.
Bron Cikotas is a nuclear weapons expert. He was former EMP Division Chief with the Defense Nuclear Agency. He is one of the Nation's foremost experts on the electromagnetic pulse phenomenon and invented the ground wave emergency network to protect U.S. strategic communications from nuclear attack.
Dorothy Denning is a professor of computer science from Georgetown University and deals in an area which is of increasing concern to American national security, as well as American business, an authority in cyberterrorism and cybersecurity.
Welcome, all three of you. We are anxious to hear from you. I hope you will all relax. We are probably going to be gone the better part of a half-hour. I'm sorry about that.
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Mr. SAXTON. I should announce that we will be using the five-minute rule. That means that all the witnesses and Members have five minutes of time allotted to them, so if you have a written statement, your entire written statement will be included in the record.
And we are going to begin at this time with Dr. Alibek. Dr. Alibek, I was reminded that not unlike yourself, Mr. Snyder is also a family physician, and so you are talking to someone who will understand exactly what you are talking about.
You may proceed, sir.
STATEMENT OF DR. KENNETH ALIBEK, CHIEF SCIENTIST, HADRON, INC., FORMER FIRST DEPUTY CHIEF, BIOPREPARAT (USSR)
Dr. ALIBEK. Mr. Chairman and members of the Panel, thank you for the invitation. For this short period of time, I will try to tell you about biological weapons and possible use of biological weapons as devices in case of bioterrorism, terrorism.
Biological weapons are weapons of mass destruction, or, to be precise, mass casualty weapons. Biological weapons do not destroy nonliving entities, they just infect, disease, and kill people. Biological weapons could be developed using bacterial agents, ADL agents, fungi, and some toxins and other biological substances.
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Depending on the type of biological agents used in biological weapons, we should expect different consequences. For example, biological weapons made of smallpox could cause significant destruction, enormous disruption of any vital activity; can cause epidemics or even pandemics, killing hundreds of thousands to even millions of people.
For example, the well-known anthrax, it is not a contagious infection, but it has quite a high level of mortality rate. In case of use of anthrax biological weapons, we should expectdepending on the type of application, we could expect from tens of thousands up to millions of casualties, depending, as I said before, on the type of application.
The problem is this, even now. Some experts insist that biological weapons are very difficult to produce, difficult to develop, or difficult to deploy. I would like to say this very firmly, that that is absolute incorrect information. Biological weapons are very easy to produce. They are inexpensive. They could be produced using different production techniques.
For example, just to produce anthrax biological weapons, several thousands of different techniques could be used for production. Biological weapons, we can compare, for example, could cause absolutely the same devastating effect.
It requires, for example, $1,000 in the case of using nuclear weapons, and about $25 if somebody uses chemical weapons, and just $1 in case of use of biological weapons. In this case, in my opinion, we need to realize biological weapons are very effective, very powerful, and, unfortunately, easy to develop, manufacture, and deploy, and especially to deploy.
Page 13 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When some experts insist that the problem of application of biological weapons is a technique, how to deploy biological weapons, unfortunately there are many different techniques, from some primitive techniques to sophisticated ones. In this case, of course, they would cause different effects, but they could be deployed using absolutely primitive techniques without the necessity to have very well-trained people.
On the problem of biological weapons, what we need to realize, in my opinion today, because with the 21st century, the century of information technology, the information of how to develop biological weapons you can find on the Internet. This information is available in different publications in some countries.
In many cases, scientists who publish this information don't specify that this technique has been developed, a certain technique has been developed, or has been used for developing biological weapons, for example.
The problem is, if we take a look at some scientific publications, and especially I would like to refer to some Russian scientific publications, we can find many, many discrete techniques on how to produce different viruses. Specifically, they describe how to produce anthrax. They describe how to produce Marburg infection, Marburg virus, Machupo and Bolivian hemorraghic fever, and many others. We can find all different information regarding genetic engineering techniques, how to genetically alter a biological agent, and many others, many other approaches.
There are several other types of preparation of biological weapons. It is the usual scientific exchange. It is development of so-called dual-purpose techniques that could be used both for producing legitimate products and could be used for production of biological weapons of different types.
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This information is growing, and unfortunately, this information is proliferating through several different pathways. The problem isthe kinds of problems we, let me say, face here in the United States, in 1969, the offensive biological weapons program in the United States was terminated by Executive Order of President Nixon. Since then, the knowledge in the area of biological weapons, and, unfortunately, in the area of biological weapons defense, was goingthis knowledge was going down.
I would like to say that the United States is one of the most sophisticated countries in developing protection against biological weapons, but even in this case, our current understanding of what is appropriate, what is the best protection against biological weapons, this knowledge is not well-defined.
For example, in the area of developing protection against biological weapons, we work in many different areas. Specifically, for example, we develop specific regulations for export control. We develop different treaties just to reducelet me say to ban production of biological weapons. We develop some others for physical protection against biological weapons, a detection system. But what we need to realize, these approaches will not give us and will never give us, let me say, 100 percent assurance that we are not vulnerable and that we are protected well.
The problem is we need to understand that biological weapons are mostlyare a matter of medical defense. Biological weapons are causing infectious diseases, unusual infectious diseases, but infectious diseases.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When we develop medical protection, we usually work in three different areas. We call these areas pretreatment, the first area; and the second area is so-called urgent prophylaxis; and third area is treatment.
Here in the United States we spent mostly time finding ways to develop first direction. We are going into the first direction. We do not pay much attention to others. In my opinion, it is a significant mistake. We need to reconsider our efforts in the area of medical defense. We need to understand what is the real threat.
The problem is when we develop a medical defense, we need to answer or address four major issues. There are four major criteria just to determine whether or not our defense is effective. I would call these the tactical criterion, logistical criterion, medical criterion, and scientific criterion. If we are able to say we meet all four of them, it means our protection against a specific weapon is effective. If we are not able to answer this question, of course, it means we are developing a wrong protection.
Saying this, I would like to finish my testimony by saying that our significant problem for now is we still have no well-defined concept of how to develop medical protection. We need to do this as soon as possible.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Alibek can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Cikotas and Professor Denning, Dr. Alibek is going to have to leave us in a few minutes, so with your permission, we would like to just ask him a few questions at this point.
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Dr. Alibek, let me just start by saying that when I introduced you, I said that you came to this country in 1992 and that you defected from Russia to come here. Prior to that, you were the deputy director of the offensive biological weapons organization known as Biopreparat; is that right?
Dr. ALIBEK. Yes. You are absolutely correct.
Mr. SAXTON. How many people were in Biopreparat?
Dr. ALIBEK. The Soviet Union has one of the most sophisticated, advanced, powerful programs of biological weapons created, ever created in this world. Many different ministries and many different main directorates were there.
I was the scientific leader of the main directorate, Biopreparat. It included about 20 scientific development facilities and about 20 production facilities.
Mr. SAXTON. Twenty development.
Dr. ALIBEK. Development and production.
Mr. SAXTON. How many people worked in all?
Dr. ALIBEK. Not all have been involved directly in biological weapons. Some were defensive, but a number of people were involved. Just under, let me say, my supervision, this number was about 30,000 people.
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Mr. SAXTON. That was about maybe half of the total, 30,000 people?
Dr. ALIBEK. Yes. The Ministry of Defense had about 15,000. The Ministry of Agriculture to develop agricultural biological weapons had about 10,000. The Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Health, the main directorate, many other entities have been involved in developing biological weapons.
Mr. SAXTON. How many strains of biological weapons were developed by the Soviet Union?
Dr. ALIBEK. We studied practically all possible agents that could be used in biological weapons. Specifically the number of biological weapons developed using different agents was more than two dozen. But the number of agents we studied was far over 50, somewhere between 50 and 70 different biological agents that could be used in biological weapons.
Mr. SAXTON. Could you name the dozen or so biological weapons that you believe would be the most effective?
Dr. ALIBEK. We developed smallpox biological weapon, plague biological weapon, anthrax, glanders, tularemia, melioidosis, Ebola virus, Marburg and Machupo viruses, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Q fever, epidemic typhus, and many others.
Mr. SAXTON. Were those strains all capable of being weaponized?
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Dr. ALIBEK. These were actual biological weapons developed, taken in armaments and ready for use.
Mr. SAXTON. Is the organization, Biopreparat, still together as an organization? Are all the people still working there? Of course, some of them belong to other Soviet Republics, I assume, so let us just talk about the Russian component. Is that still intact?
Dr. ALIBEK. The Russian component is intact, but not Biopreparat, but the Ministry of Defense part. They have four top secret facilities located in four different cities. These facilities are facilities to research and develop biological weapons.
Mr. SAXTON. What happened to the other facilities that were not under the auspices of the Defense Department?
Dr. ALIBEK. For example, the facilities located in Kazakhstan, they are now under dismantlement.
Mr. SAXTON. What happened to the scientists that worked there?
Dr. ALIBEK. Nobody knows where they are.
Mr. SAXTON. They could be working anyplace in the world. You chose to come here, thank God, but they could be anyplace in the world?
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. ALIBEK. I would say many of them are overseas, many are abroad. At least we knew that some of them tried to sell some knowledge to China. There was one attempt. Some traveled to North Korea. There was a huge event in 1995 in Iran, and about 100 scientists with the knowledge how to develop biological weapons came to Iran in 1995. Some, of course the great majority of them, came back, but we know that some of them are still working in Iraq doing some research work.
There was a rumor, of course, but I cannot prove or disprove this, that some of them left for Iraq. Of course, many of themin my opinion, it is very difficult to find any trace of these people.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
If we take Mr. Maloney and Mr. Taylor and myself, three reasonably literate people, do you have an opinion, just by going to the Internet and to the science books available and medical schools and that kind of stuff, the information available, how long would it take us as purely amateurs to develop some kind of a crude biological weapon that would result in the deaths of triple digit numbers of people?
Dr. ALIBEK. I would say this. I don't want to be an instructor, for example, because I believe here people are not interested in developing biological weapons. But I would say just to develop a crude biological weapon using, for example, anthrax, using simple cultivation techniques, using easy techniques for deployment.
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Mr. SNYDER. It is information readily available?
Dr. ALIBEK. This information is readily available, yes, and it would take maybe two weeks, three weeks to develop such a weapon.
Mr. SNYDER. One of the comments you make in your written statement is that the samethat an investment in trying to come up with what you have referred to as the medical protection would have payoff in terms of how we deal with other of the world's infectious diseases. Talk about that.
Dr. ALIBEK. The problem is when we develop vaccines, they are too specific. If we develop a vaccine against plague, we can treat nothing or protect nothing but plague. There are several other approaches. This approach, this information is regularly available.
This is what I am talking about all the time, that we need to pay attention to so-called broad-spectrum approaches in medical defense. For example, one of the possible approaches is so-called enhancing our own immune response.
Mr. SNYDER. I'm sorry, I did not understand.
Dr. ALIBEK. Enhancing our own immune response to biological agents, because our immune system is capable just to fight invading microorganisms.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In this case, if you read scientific articles, you would be amazed how many publications there are now in this area. But unfortunately, in the area of defense against biological weapons, we do not accept these approaches.
What I would like to say, when we discuss an issue on developing a defense against biological weapons, we are wasting money or wasting the taxpayers' money. In my opinion, it is a significant mistake. When we develop protection, medical protection, against biological weapons using these broad-spectrum approaches, these approaches would be easily applicable to many other medical areas to treat or prevent against infectious diseases, let me say, we face every single day, such as tuberculosis, respiratory infection, or even HIV infections.
Mr. SNYDER. In your oral presentation you say, ''We have no well-defined concept on how to develop medical protection.''
Amplify on that, if you would, please.
Dr. ALIBEK. As I said before, when we discussI already mentioned three major directions. I said that we are working just in one direction. We don't pay much attention to the two others.
The problem is when we develop a medical protection plan, as I said before, we need to keep in mind four major criteria. If we meet this criteria, these approaches, of course, it means this protection is going to work. It is medical criterion, scientific criterion, tactical criterion, and logistical.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC For example, we can analyze the situation, for example, the well-known situation with anthrax vaccination. We can analyze it using these four criteria. If it is scientifically possible, we know it is possible medically. We know that we had some minor side effects, but medically, it is not, let me say, a significant threat.
Let us analyze the logistical issue. Now we have just vaccinated 400,000 troops. In this case, we are having a very significant problem, and we will be having this problem, but again, it is possible to solve this problem.
Let us analyze the situation from a tactical standpoint. When we discuss this situation, now we vaccinate the entire Armed Forces against this infection. It is going to cost a tremendous amount of money. In this case that is not a problem, but let us analyze the situation from a different standpoint, bioterrorism. Is it possible to vaccinate the entire country against anthrax?
Let us imagine that we know, for example, there is going to be a terrorist event using anthrax very soon. We do not know where, we do not know who, or the possible, let me say, size of this event. In this case, of course, even though we know it is going to happen, it is too late to vaccinate people because it takes us 18 months just to get people with a sufficient concentration of antibodies to this infection. It means we do not meet at least one of these criteria. It means this protection is not going to work againstin the area of biological terrorism. That is the problem.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Dr. Alibek, I am currently reading your book. I was pleasantly pleased when I came today and heard you were one of the witnesses. For anyone who has any question about whether or not this is a meaningful threat, I would recommend them to your book, Biohazard. It is a very well-written book.
In your book, sir, you indicate very large stores of these weapons in the USSR, and Russia inherited much of that. Have these been destroyed? Are there still meaningful stores there, from your perspective?
Dr. ALIBEK. I would say this. Russia now does not, let me say, pose any imminent threat to the United States, because in 1989and what I would like to emphasize, in 1989 when the United States Government, and in 1990, started pressuring the Soviet Union very severely, the Soviet Union decided to get rid of all stockpiled biological weapons. The Soviet Union did not destroy and dismantle its capability to produce biological weapons, but by 1989 the Soviet Union did not have biological weapons stockpiled.
From this standpoint, I would say Russiaand, of course, I have no idea what happened for the last several years, but at least by 1992, they did not have a biological weapons stockpile.
Mr. BARTLETT. Do you have any knowledge that this kind of research and development still continues?
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Dr. ALIBEK. I am 100 percent sure that Russia is still interested in researching and developing biological weapons. I would call this issue maybe not biological weapons, I would call it military biotechnology.
In the area of biological weapons, in many instances you need to know what problems, what kinds of problems you need to solve to develop effective biological weapons. When you read scientific publications published in Russian, you can find a lot of information that this type of research has just a single application, or so-called dual-purpose research.
In some cases, for example, some research publications have no explanation except for possible use in developing new biological weapons.
Mr. BARTLETT. What percent of those 30,000 who were working on biological weapons while you were there might now be working for entities or countries less responsible than Russia?
Dr. ALIBEK. It is very difficult to say. In many cases it is not a matter, for example, to have many people. When somebody is developing biological weapons, it is impossibleit is important just to understand so-called bottlenecks in developing protection. You can spend millions and millions of dollars, but you are not able to get, let me say, really sophisticated biological weapons. You are not able to solve, for example, two key issues.
But if you have a scientist, a single scientist who knows how to solve this bottleneck problem, of course, you are able to develop a sophisticated weapon.
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Mr. BARTLETT. We are expending considerable efforts trying to trace nuclear scientists in Russia to make sure that they are gainfully employed, other than for someone who should not be making nuclear weapons. I gather that we have not done that for the scientists working on biological weapons. In your view, should we have been doing that? Should we be doing it now?
Dr. ALIBEK. Of course, it would be nice to do this, but I don't believe it would give us somelet me say some trustworthy information, because the problem is each scientist who has the knowledge of how to research and develop biological weapons has a general understanding in some other biological areas.
In this case, of course, just to know where the scientist is and just to have such a list is important, but it would be very difficult to prove that this scientist is helping a certain country, helping a certain country develop biological weapons.
Mr. BARTLETT. It would be nice to know that he either was or was not in that country?
Dr. ALIBEK. Yes. Of course, it would be nice to know.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Gibbons.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Dr. Alibek, I know in you are in a bit of a hurry. I will keep my remarks to a simple, short question.
We have dealt with the production side, the development side, as well as the treatment or the defense side. What are we doing to ensure that we have adequate detection of these biological elements around so we have rapid detection of dispersement?
Dr. ALIBEK. It is one of the most difficult questions. IfI would say this. For the military, for the Armed Forces particularly it is possible. We have something for the Armed Forces for detection and neutralizing of biological agents.
Not everything is perfect. For detection of these agents for the civilian population, of course, we have absolutely nothing. At least, we know there were some attempts to develop something, but even now we have nothing appropriate that could be used to detect and identify biological agents in the cities, in the metro systems, commercial buildings, such and such.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. Dr. Alibek, I appreciate your sticking around.
If you had a son or daughter serving in the United States military, knowing what you know about the threat of biological weapons, would you encourage them or discourage them from taking the anthrax shots?
Dr. ALIBEK. Let me answer it this way. If you know that your son or daughter is going to fight in Korea or is stationed in South Korea, stationed in the Middle East, of course I would encourage them.
Mr. TAYLOR. Is that yes, sir, you would encourage them?
Dr. ALIBEK. Yes. I would encourage them. But for example, in my opinion, there is no necessity to vaccinate the entire Armed Forces, because I do not believe that all 2.4 million troops would fight in the Middle East or in Korea.
Of course, we need to develop some kind of gradual approach to determine who or what troops must be vaccinated first, what troops must be ready for possible vaccination, and what troops or, for example, services we do not have to vaccinate at all.
Mr. TAYLOR. Given your background in this field, sir, I would hopeI have been told that the anthrax vaccine that is being supplied to the American troops is basically the same vaccine that veterinarians who work with large animals have been using for decades. Is that accurate?
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. ALIBEK. You know, generally, yes. I would say, of course, we do not have to think that we use for people absolutely the same that we use for livestock. The general principle, yes; the general principles, for example, of, let me say, form and antibodies.
The form of specific hemoglobins for this infection, they are the same or similar. But, of course, it is not the same vaccine. There is a level of purification. The level of quality is much higher when we use such vaccine for humans.
Mr. TAYLOR. I apologize for missing the beginning of your testimony, and I think you probably covered this.
Given the fact that we cannot be everywhere at once, that we cannot do everything that we would like to do, how would you respond if you were a Congressman from the United States, given limited resourceshow would you respond to the biological threat? Where would you make your investments?
Dr. ALIBEK. In my opinion, the problem of defense against biological weapons is mostly a medical problem. If we may continue, just let me give you this statement.
I do not want to just to shake anybody, but the problem is now in the area of medical defense against biological weapons, we are using the approaches and we are usingwe are developing defense against biological weapons developed 25, 30 years ago. Now it means our current approaches in developing defense have about a 25-year or 30-year gap. We have absolutely nothing, and we are not developing anything against biological weapons developed recently.
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Even if we take into consideration that, for example, to develop more or less sophisticated biological weapons, it requires about 2 or 3 years, maybe 4 years, and to develop protection against this weapon, it would take about 10 or 15 years, so we can imagine what kind of situation we would face in about 10 or 15 years.
The problem is, in my opinion, if we continue developing vaccines, we would be in a significant trouble. I am not saying we need to stop this research. We need to continue the research. But in the area of medical defense, there are many other areas. We need to investigate this area. We need to develop new, completely new, approaches in developing defenses against biological weapons. It is possible.
Mr. TAYLOR. If I may, I understand that the former Soviet Union was very active in the development of biological weapons. How active was the former Soviet Union in developing defenses against biological weapons? Is that where you would look for the expertise?
Dr. ALIBEK. My facilities I oversaw have been involved in developing the biological weapons and some in developing defenses against biological weapons, infectious diseases.
The Soviet Union, at least in the 1980s, beginning of 1990s, was spending much time and resources to develop vaccines. But if we take a look, for example, at what they are doing now in a number of applications in scientific journals, we would see much research work wasted on so-called enhancing the immune system response.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC They tried to find, using their limited resources, resources to develop protection based not just on the vaccination, they tried to find solutions to enhance one's own immune responses. In my opinion, this is just one of the possible ways. I'm not saying it is the only way.
What I would like to say, there are many different ways. We need to explore all of them to find an appropriate protection against biological weapons.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, sir.
Mr. McIntyre, do you have a question?
Mr. MCINTYRE. To follow up on that, I wanted to ask you specifically, in eastern North Carolina where I am from, we have several military bases from the Marines, Air Force, and Army. We also have a premier school of public health at the University of North Carolina.
You have mentioned in your paper, and somewhat in your remarks, about three types of medical defense: first, pretreatment; second, a type of urgent treatment after exposure; and then third, chemotherapy.
For our university research centers that are trying to develop protection, what do you see is the greatest shortcoming, with limited amounts of time and resources, that they need to be spending the most time and concentration on in terms of medical defense?
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Dr. ALIBEK. Just imagine the situation. There is a threat of biological weapon attacks somewhere in Washington, D.C. We have no idea what kind of agents would be used. We have no idea when it is going to happen.
In this case, what are our possible approaches? Of course, we will start preparing our first responders just to deal with possible consequences of this. But what we do not keep in mind is that we have no treatment approaches, we have no prophylactic approaches, because in this case, we have no idea what to act against. In many cases, we even have no vaccines developed.
One of the possible approaches, for example, if we start talking to the scientists involved in the research, for example, is to study nonspecific immune responses, to study some nonspecific immune responses, responses and techniques to modulate our own immune response.
For example, biological weapons mostly work in this way. It is an aerosol application. We inhale and we breathe in this agent. In this case, our first line of defense is our respiratory system, because immunity is responding to this agent.
If we find new waysand, again, it is not, let me say, a fantasy. A lot of research has been done. If we find some new approaches to enhance our mucosal immune response, just because this response is working nonspecifically, it does not matter for this immune response what kind of agent is entering the body.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In this case, at least we would be able to saveI'm not saying we would be able to save 100 percent of people. It depends on many factors, and we would have different figures. But at least this approach would help us to save the great majority of people who are exposed, who have been exposed to biological agents.
It is one of the possible approaches. I am not describing some others. But in my opinion, this is a matter of quite deep analysis in developing some new programs in the area of medical defense against biological weapons.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Dr. Alibek, that is all the questions we have for you at this point. We appreciate you staying with us. We hope we did not hold you up too long. We appreciate very much the information that you have shared with us today. We will get back to you if we have further questions.
Dr. ALIBEK. Thank you very much for inviting me. If I was helping, I would be very glad.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. Cikotas and Professor Denning, we apologize to you for the delay of votes and having to get Dr. Alibek taken care of.
Mr. Cikotas, if you would like to proceed at this point.
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STATEMENT OF BRONIUS CIKOTAS, FORMER EMP DIVISION CHIEF, DEFENSE NUCLEAR AGENCY
Mr. CIKOTAS. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the invitation to speak before you on these subjects.
Because of the 5-minute limit, I am going to try not to repeat the things that are in my written testimony, but cover some other areas that I think are important, particularly with respect to where we stand in infrastructure protection and what I see as the problems in this particular area.
First of all, we all know that there are terrorists or groups and various organizations that play in this area. The target typically is the U.S. Population and the U.S. Government. That is the responsibility of the U.S. Government, to protect us against these types of attacks.
One of the problemsand Presidential Decision Directive (PDD63) was written for that reason, particularly to address the government agencies and start infrastructure protection against terrorism. One of the problems that is quite often not understood is that the government owns something less than five percent of the total infrastructure. The States own less than five percent of the total infrastructure. Most of the infrastructure is owned by the private sector, and PDD-63 and some of the other efforts really do not address, and in effect cannot protect us from, terrorist attacks on the majority of our infrastructure.
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The problem, the way I see it, but it is a new concept to the private sector and the public, is that the survival of our society or way of life can be threatened by hidden external forces, and this protection to a large extent against these threats is dependent on the private sector and not on the government or national security forces alone.
Until this concept is understood and accepted by the private sector, no effort by the government short of legislative direction or an electronic nuclear or chem-bio Pearl Harbor perpetrated by our enemies is going to significantly move the private sector to act to protect our critical infrastructure.
I think that is the key issue, that we are trying to do something in this area, but the problem is really somewhat out of our hands unless we get into some different modes of operating in this area.
The challenge that we have is the threat reduction, warning, containment to a large extent depends upon the government. That is really where it belongs. But the infrastructure protection to a large extent is really in the private sector's hands.
The other thing is that the private sector is largely unaware of the severity of the threat and its implications on the infrastructure, and is unlikely to act without understanding of these issues. Major education efforts are needed to be initiated by the government for the private sector on the severity of the threat and its implications and options available to deal with it.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Both the government and the private sector do not equally understand the interdependencies of the infrastructure and the potential cascading effects which can result. This understanding is necessary for finding an allocation of resources for the infrastructure protection. In a micro way, to some extent this was addressed by the Y2K issue from the standpoint that it forced a lot of the industry to look at their vulnerabilities to that particular type of a bug. As a result of that, I think they have a much better understanding of their infrastructures. Y2K did serve another purpose in that we have a better understanding in this case.
As far as the nuclear threats go, and particularly the EMP threat is concerned, the threat is a holdover from the Cold War, and its primary capabilitythe primary capability to perpetrate that threat rests with Russia. They understandthey have the weapons, and they understand how to use them. They understand the implications of it.
An EMP attack, EMP results in a largely nonnuclear electromagnetic pulse propagated in line of sight from the burst, where the burst is typically between, I will say, 30 and 300 kilometers, so it can cover the area from part of the East Coast all the way to the total of the continental United States (CONUS) essentially. The electromagnetic pulse is severe enough if we talk about the unhardened systems, and most of our infrastructure is unhardened, we can expect significant damage to occur.
For example, there was a lot of assessment for EMP vulnerability of the power grid, which is very critical to all of us. That assessment was done to a large extent by the Department of Defense, but it was never completed. There are holes in that that essentially do not tell usthey can tell us, but they really do not give us a good answer of what would happen to the power grid in case of an EMP attack.
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Mr. SAXTON. Some people feel that they have the potential to turn our lights out.
Mr. CIKOTAS. That is there. There is no question about the potential. Again, we have to talk about who is doing it.
If we talk about a small terrorist group who just happened to get hold of a former Soviet tactical weapon or something like that, they get hold of a Scud, and they are going to launch it off the East Coast and try to detonate it and cause EMP, basically they would not know whether in terms of, let's say, explosive power that the result would result in a small bomb-equivalent EMP event, in a grenade, or a firecracker. It is a sophisticated kind of attack.
If we get a well-financed terrorist group that particularly has access to former Soviet Union scientists that did the design work in this area, we can start approaching the levels that are becoming important in terms of a threat to us.
Again, what is emerging in this area is that we are coming to the area of what is known as poor man's EMP, and that is the area of radio frequency weapons. It is an electromagnetic pulse produced using batteries and capacitors and pulsers that radiates in a local area.
Let me talk a little bit about the range. The high-altitude EMP.
Mr. SAXTON. I will ask you that question, and you can talk about it then, if that is okay.
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[The prepared statement of Mr. Cikotas can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Now we'll go to Professor Denning.
STATEMENT OF DR. DOROTHY E. DENNING, PROFESSOR OF COMPUTER SCIENCE, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
Dr. DENNING. Thank you very much for the opportunity to testify, Mr. Chairman.
As we all know, cyberspace is constantly under assault. We havepeople are breaking into computer systems, stealing credit card numbers, selling credit card numbers, stealing sensitive government information and proprietary information.
There have been massive denial of service assaults against Internet service providers and major electronic commerce sites. There has been a lot of destruction of data on computer systems, especially by former employees and insiders.
The recent ILOVEYOU virus, which is one of among about 60,000 viruses altogether, is estimated to have affected tens of millions of people and cost about $8 billion worth of damage. So there are a lot of serious problems out there.
If we look at cyberterrorism specifically in assaults that could lead to death or bodily injury or cause major harm, major economic harm of the sort like a World Trade Center bombing or Oklahoma City or something like that, so far we have not had anything like that. There have been activists who have been using the Internet to try to promote their causes, but by and large, the activity that they engage in is what we might call disruptive, but not destructive. In fact, it looks mild compared to the effect of the ILOVEYOU virus.
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People are defacing Web sites and posting political messages. There has been spamming againstsending thousands of e-mail messages to Internet service providers or government agencies. The Sri Lankan Embassy got e-mail bombed for about a two-week period by an offshoot of the Tamil Tigers.
We have had Web sit-ins against the World Trade Organization (WTO), and animal rights activists have done Web sit-ins where a whole mass of people, tens of thousands of people all at once, point their browsers to some site and issue download requests. Again, these things are disruptive, but they are not destructive. In my book, they are not terrorism.
Right now, today, the truck bomb is a much more serious threat than the logic bomb. But the question is, what might be coming. In order to assess that threat, we have to look at two things. First, we have to look at vulnerabilities, are there critical infrastructures that are vulnerable to a major attack that could have serious consequences. Second, we have to ask, are there actors with the capability to do that, and who are motivated to do that in cyberspace as opposed to doing it with more traditional kinds of weapons?
The unfortunate part about the vulnerabilities is that it looks like systems are vulnerable. I have seen several major reports done by the government, and also talking to people that I know that have more extensive knowledge, that point in the direction that systems could be attacked in ways that could pose serious harm to people.
It is very, very hard to protect against that. It is very, very hard to plug all the holes in computer systems. Even if we make the technology good, it has to be configured right, all the patches have to be installed, and so on.
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I was at a presentation this morning by the Joint Task Force Computer Network Defense, and they reported that of all the attacks that have been recorded recently, 94 percent of them were exploiting vulnerabilities that they knew about, they had fixes for, so these are standard things. They were not new types of attacks.
Even if you do your best and try to stay up to date, on top of everything, there are new kind of attacks rolling out fast, like the ILOVEYOU virus. It went out and it hit lots and lots of people. It was a variant of earlier viruses, but the antiviral tools could not detect it.
Then we also have problems of insiders who have access to information, and we have potential contractors and so on. A lot of the more serious kinds of things that are there that have done a lot of destruction against computer systems have been done by insiders.
The Aum Shinrikyo cult, it was recently discovered that these folks had actually been writing software for some 80 Japanese firms; I think it was 10 government agencies, or something like that. Among other things, they were using the system to track police vehicles for the police department. They had collected data on over 100 unmarked police cars before it was discovered that they were the ones who had actually written the software.
So that is the vulnerability side of it. It is not good. If we look now at the actors who would have the motivation and the skill to do that, the best study of that that I know of was done at the Naval post-graduate school in Monterrey, California. They did a report called Cyberterror Prospects and Implications. The bottom line of that is that, in their assessment, it was notcyberterrorism was not an imminent threat. They concluded that the barrier to entry for anything beyond annoying hacks is quite high in that terrorists generally lack the wherewithal and human capital needed to mount a meaningful operation. So cyberterrorism was something that they argued was something for the future, although it could be pursued as an ancillary tool.
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Cyberterrorism would have some advantages to a terrorist. It could be done remotely, anonymously. You do not have to handle and deal with explosives or other dangerous materials. It would probably get a lot of media coverage, because the media loves to cover any kind of cyberattack.
It also has its drawbacks. Systems are complex, so it is not clear thathow easy it would be to actually carry out some mission and actually accomplish your goals, resulting in serious harm. Unless people are injured, there is going to be a lot less drama and emotional appeal.
Terrorists may be disinclined to try new methods and learn what it would take to conduct effective cyberterrorist operations, and prefer to stick with the methods that they already know and have been trained to use.
The next generation of terrorists are going to grow up in a digital world, so things could change over time. They may see greater potential for cyberterrorism. They may be recruited by terrorists, or become self-recruiting terrorists, the Timothy McVeighs of cyberspace.
It could also become more attractive as the real and virtual worlds become more closely coupled with a great deal of physical devices connected to the Internet and controlled remotely. For example, in the area of telemedicine, we have telesurgery, so we could start thinking in terms of potential terrorists attacks against robots that are used for surgery.
Mr. SAXTON. Dr. Denning, I am told that we are going to have some votes upcoming here, so if you could summarize.
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Dr. DENNING. I was actually right at the end.
Basically, just a summary, again, is that right now cyberterrorism is largely a theoretical threat, and it is hard to predict what might happen in the future.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Denning can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Cikotas, you had discussed in your testimony that the more powerful threat, nonnuclear electromagnetic pulse, takes some degree of sophistication and resources to be able to carry a terrorist attack with that.
Mr. CIKOTAS. That is correct.
Mr. SAXTON. Then you moved to what you referred to as the poor man's EMP. Would you explain a little further the concept of radio frequency weapons?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Basically what is done in the radio frequency weapons is that in the nonnuclear EMP, the ranges we are talking are hundreds to thousands of kilometers from a burst. In the radio frequency weapons area, you are talking tens of meters to tens of kilometers.
Mr. SAXTON. What is a radio frequency weapon exactly?
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Mr. CIKOTAS. A radio frequency weapon is a device that can vary from the size of an attache case to something that is mounted in a van that produces a very fast-rising, typically a short-duration pulse, high-amplitude pulse. If we look at the pulse amplitude, the pulse power is likely to be in gigawatts. The duration is likely to be in tens of nanoseconds. So the power is very great; the duration is short. It tends to interact with electronic systems and can cause both disruption and damage to electronic systems.
Mr. SAXTON. Someone once likened itand I don't know what gigawatts are, but someone once likened it to radio static. I could understand that.
Mr. CIKOTAS. It is nothing like that. It is much more than radio static. The levels are significantly higher. With radio static, unless it is directly connected to something, it is not going to cause damage.
Mr. SAXTON. It is a signal that goes out?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Yes, that goes out from some sort of antenna that propagates, like I say, for tens of meters. If it is a bigger device, it could go for ten kilometers. It can cause damage to electronic equipment and burn it out.
Mr. SAXTON. This would disrupt computer activities, perhaps some electronics components?
Mr. CIKOTAS. That is correct.
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Mr. SAXTON. What would happen if someone had a device, the proper size, able to cover several hundred yards, turned it on, and drove down Wall Street?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Basically, it would not be detected. The effects would be there.
Mr. SAXTON. What would be the effect?
Mr. CIKOTAS. The effects could result in major damage to computer systems on Wall Street, particularly those that were reasonably close to it. The problem with the radio frequency weapons is in effect it is a stealth weapon today.
Mr. SAXTON. That means you do not know it is there?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Right. If your computer failed, the normal assumption is something is wrong with the computer, that, I have an internal problem, rather than that it comes from the outside. Therefore, the truck could drive by one building, go to the next building, and this is a renewable power source, so you need to basically drive and fire. You would not know what is happening. You could see a trend that a whole block or two of New York, the electronic systems have failed, but it would take some time to figure out that this is not a normal failure. By that time the truck is long gone and maybe doing the damage somewhere else.
Mr. SAXTON. In preparing for today's hearing, my staff was talking with someone, and they mentioned that it is possible to use one of these devices against aircraft.
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Mr. CIKOTAS. If the device range is up to ten kilometers, that covers aircraft. For example, if we look, one of the devices that the British got is NAGARA radar.
Mr. SAXTON. What is that word?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Nanosecond gigahertz amplitude radar.
The British basically concluded that they could not safely fly helicopters within something like seven kilometers of that device. It is a truck-mounted device, not a van-mounted, with an antenna on the end.
Mr. SAXTON. Have we done experiments and have we been able to demonstrate that this weapon, these weapons, could be used successfully against helicopters or any other devices?
Mr. CIKOTAS. I know we are working in those areas. I do notI am not specifically involved in those programs.
Mr. SAXTON. What happens if you have a radio frequency weapon that has a ten-kilometer range and park it at the end of a runway?
Mr. CIKOTAS. You are likely to take out all the flights coming in and going.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The discussion that you are having with the gentleman is somewhat similar to Dr. Denning's discussion. If somebody drives down the street and takes out the computer for the local flower shop, that is not a terrorist incident. It may be disruptive of those shops. If it takes down an airline, then it does create the kinds of problems that cannot be done by amateurs.
Dr. Denning, I wanted to have you talk a little bit about this business about distinguishing between disruption and terrorism, which does not mean we should not be working on this, but maybe it is a question of who should be doing the work, and will it get lost.
In terms of terrorist incidents, we think of them being ones that cause fear. If you had a cyberterrorist attack so bank accounts were wiped out and could not be recovered, I assume that is possible, but probably not practicalI would think that would create a lot of fear. If we talk about fear and the bank crashes of 1929.
Dr. DENNING. I agree, that would create a lot of fear. There I think you would look at the motivation. If the motivation was for political or social objectives and designed to cause that kind of fear, I would call that cyberterrorism.
Fortunately, I think the banking system is fairly well hardened against that kind of thing. If you have a lot of backups and things like that, so they actually get in and destroy all the records in a way that nothing can be recovered, that is I think getting a little bit farfetched. I am not going to say it is impossible, but I think the banking system is better protected than that.
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Mr. SNYDER. What about in terms ofyou mentioned remote surgery and so on. What about issues involving a function of a busy metropolitan hospital and some kind of an attack on a busy surgical ward, obstetrical ward? Are those hardened?
Dr. DENNING. I think right now most of them are not Internet-enabled. I am not sure what all the mechanisms are in place in those systems that would protect against that.
Some time ago, maybe about a year ago, there was a story circulating on the Internet that basically said that the FBI was going aftermaybe they had caught some mobster or something, but he had been badly wounded, and he was in the hospital, and there were guys who wanted to take him out, and they could not get physical access to the hospital, so they had hacked into the life support system that he was on and tampered with it, and he died. This was a story that was circulating around.
I immediately went to some of the people that I know that know a lot about hospital information systems, who basically said, no, that could not happen, that that was a fabrication. I also checked with people in the FBI who said thatnobody could find any record of any incident like that.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Bartlett.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman, you and I and nine other of our colleagues just about a year ago sat in a hotel in Vienna with members of the Russian Duma. One of those members was Vladimir Lukhin.
Mr. Cikotas, you mentioned this incident in your written testimony. He was a very angry person. He sat for two days with his arms crossed, looking at the ceiling. We were there developing a framework agreement for ending the Kosovo conflict.
He said at one point, you spit on us, and now you want us to help you. Why should we help you? Then again during these two days he made the statement, if we really wanted to hurt you, with no fear of retaliation, we would launch an Sea-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM), detonate a nuclear weapon high above your country, shut down your power grid and your communications for a month or two.
Was he kidding?
Mr. CIKOTAS. I don't think so.
Mr. BARTLETT. This is possible?
Mr. CIKOTAS. I believe it is possible. To a large extent, as you have seen in my testimony, the DOD has worked hard to protect our response systems or our military systems. Again, we are getting back to the 95 percent of the infrastructure that has no protection, and that is what we were dealing with. That is why it is possible.
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That is, again, because the Russians are probably more sophisticated than anybody else in doing those types of attacks, or as sophisticated as we would be.
Mr. BARTLETT. They have developed an EMP-enhanced weapon?
Mr. CIKOTAS. I am not aware of that. I think they have capabilities for things like that.
Mr. BARTLETT. It is my understanding they have developed EMP-enhanced weapons.
Sir, if this is true, if a single weapon would not do itand a single weapon detonated 300 miles high over Nebraska covers all of the continental United States, it would produce at the margins about 10,000 to 20,000 volts per meter. If that is not enough to extinguish all of our computers and microelectronics countrywide, then if they were not sure that would do it, if they used six weaponsand they have thousands of weaponsif they used six weapons, they certainly could, could they not, disable every computer in our country?
Mr. CIKOTAS. They would certainly improve their capability to do that significantly.
Mr. BARTLETT. Communist China has the Long March missile tipped with a 4.4 megaton weapon. I do not know that that is EMP-enhanced, but a weapon that large detonated over our country, you would expect it to do what kind of damage, EMP-wise?
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Mr. CIKOTAS. The problem is that it is very difficult to predict the extent of the damage. I would expect there would be significant damage. How muchwithout looking at the weapon parameters, looking at what kind of EMP it produced, it is kind of hard to say what kind of damage it would do, it would cause.
Mr. BARTLETT. Is there any way that an enemy could detonate a nuclear weapon on us or over us that would do as much damage as an EMP lay-down, which would not hurt a single person or damage a single building?
Mr. CIKOTAS. The statement that EMP would not hurt a single person or damage a single building is not really true, because when we look at the power grid shutdown, we are going to lose lives if we shut the power grid across the U.S.; not directly, but indirectly.
Mr. BARTLETT. That was my next question. If you could imagine 275 million people living in a country that has no power and will have no power, that has no communications and will have no communications, where only a few antique vehicles will run, if you could get gas in them, because there would be no power at the service station, although there are no direct effects on people, the potential effects on the population are really enormous; are they not?
Mr. CIKOTAS. I believe they would be. We are not prepared for that type of a situation.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. A terrorist attack would be somewhere between a dud doing nothing and this; would it not?
Mr. CIKOTAS. More closer to the dud, I would say.
Mr. BARTLETT. We hope.
Mr. CIKOTAS. It depends on the sophistication and particularly how much help they might be able to get in terms of state-supported terrorism, or from scientists that have worked in that field.
Mr. BARTLETT. One last note, Mr. Chairman. Vladimir Lukhinand, by the way, he is the chairman of their foreign affairs committee in the Duma, he was the ambassador here at the end of Bush and the beginning of the Reagan administration, so he is a very responsible person who is now the chairman of his party in Russia. When he says, ''Without fear of retaliation, if it came from the sea,'' was he implying it would be very difficult for us to know, in fact, the source of that attack?
Mr. CIKOTAS. It might be difficult to figure out the source of that attack, particularly if they tried to shield it in some way.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Let me just ask Mr. Gibbons.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GIBBONS. No, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Taylor, I believe, has a question or two.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Cikotas, other than a nuclear blast, is therecan someone generate an electromagnetic pulse by other than nuclear means large enough, say, to wipe out the power grid of a city? Is that available technology?
Mr. CIKOTAS. That depends on if you are talking now about a nonnuclear EMP, a radio frequency weapon type of device, you would have to look at a range of one with ten kilometers or so.
Mr. TAYLOR. The question is, is that existing technology?
Mr. CIKOTAS. The technologyI would say it is existing within Russia. I am not sure in that range what is existing within the United States.
The radio frequency device.
Mr. TAYLOR. Going back to a previous panel when the gentleman made the point that it is fairly low-tech to create a biological weapon, to do that, to have a ten-kilometer EMP weapon.
Mr. CIKOTAS. That is a high-tech weapon.
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. A lot of money, a lot of expertise?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Yes, but one that has a range of 10 to 100 meters is not that much of a technology problem. There is information on the Internet on how to do many of these things.
Mr. TAYLOR. For the low-tech end of the spectrum, what are the most likely targets, in your mind?
Mr. CIKOTAS. For example, in Russia radio frequency weapons have been used to defeat security systems. You can deal with security systemsI understand there has been blackmail against banks in Great Britain that they have been paying in order not to affect their banking systems.
Banks in the California area have expressed an interest in dealing with the radio frequency (RF) threat and have offered or asked the government people that are doing testing, would you be willing to test our systems in our facility?
So it is a local area. It is something that can be done with stealth. There are detectors that will allow you to see that you have been attacked or are in the process of being attacked, but it will not point to the perpetrator.
Mr. TAYLOR. For the sake of people getting on an airplane this evening, you had talked about someone had mentioned putting one at the end of the runway. How real a threat is it, that someone could direct this at a plane taking off and fry the electronics on the plane, and therefore disable it?
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Mr. CIKOTAS. I think that the reality of the threat depends on the sophistication and the funding of the organization, and to what extent they have researched the field or tried to apply it.
Some of these things are going to get commercialized.
Mr. TAYLOR. I am old enough to remember the hijackings in the 1960s or 1970s. What is the realistic chance that this technology touches off another wave of crime against airlines?
Mr. CIKOTAS. There is a lot of information we do not know in this area, what the susceptibilities are. The Swedish have demonstrated a device that can stop cars at 300 feet. It is basically a commercial device that is going to be propagated probably to police departments where they get into vehicle chases and things like that.
I don't have an answer what that would do to an airliner, but it is something that we should find out and we should be concerned about.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. I want to thank our witnesses for being with us today. We appreciate it very much. I thank the members of the Panel for being here and for their participation. We will look forward to working with you in the future. Thank you again for being here.
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[Whereupon, at 3:55 p.m., the Panel was adjourned.]