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Cyber Pearl Harbor

Cyber Pearl Harbor definition

A Cyber Pearl Harbor refers to a hypothetical cyberattack on the critical infrastructure of a city or nation. Named after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, it serves as an exercise in national security and cybersecurity on how to prevent attacks that could cripple essential services or disrupt the nation’s economy.

See also: cyberattack, cybercriminal

What infrastructure can be involved in Cyber Pearl Harbor?

  • Electric power grids. A nation’s energy infrastructure can be the target as it spreads chaos and panic among the public.
  • Financial system. Disrupting the financial sector, such as stock exchanges or banking systems, leads to loss of public confidence in financial institutions.
  • Water supply and sanitation systems. Compromising water treatment and distribution systems could pose serious public health risks and disrupt daily life.
  • Transportation systems. Targeting air traffic control systems and railway networks can paralyze the movement of goods and people.
  • Healthcare systems. Attacks on hospitals lead to loss of life and spread panic among the public.

Cyber Pearl Harbor benefits:

Cyber Pearl Harbor serves as a cautionary metaphor, emphasizing the need to be resilient against potential large-scale cyberattacks. It’s helps:

  • Assess defenses.
  • Enhance detection.
  • Develop response and recovery plans.
  • Promote collaboration among institutions.
  • Educate and train.