'Cyber-attacks' subject of Dallas meeting

DALLAS, May 2 (UPI) -- Executives, diplomats, military leaders and White House officials will meet in Dallas for a conference on online crime and cyber-terrorism, organizers say.

Monday's Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit is being described by the EastWest Institute as one of the largest-ever gatherings of its kind, The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday. More than 400 delegates will gather to consider what the FBI calls its "highest criminal priority," the newspaper said.


"In effect, all the key players from our government will be here, as well as delegates from around the world," EastWest President Ross Perot Jr., who led the effort to bring the conference to Dallas, said.

The urgency of threats was underlined in February when officials in Washington took part in an exercise responding to a simulated cyberattack, the Morning News reported.

The "damage" experienced in the "cyber-wargame" was catastrophic. Cellphone networks, landlines and the Internet quickly went down, followed by the entire East Coast electric power grid as mock bomb attacks targeted gas pipelines and power stations.

The failure to effectively respond to the hypothetical virtual attack was widely seen as an indication neither government nor business is prepared to deal with an all-out online attack, the newspaper said.


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