A Crippling Cyber Attack on the United States Would only Cost $100 Million and Take Two Years to Deploy

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A $100 million project over two years would be enough for crippling cyber attack on the United States, according to Charlie Miller, who spent five years with the US National Security Agency under then-director Michael Hayden.

“I already knew it was easy, but now I know in detail how easy it would be,” said. “We are certainly very vulnerable.”

Miller described the 100-million-dollar price tag as a bargain compared to how much money is spent on cyber defense.

He crafted a broad strategy to target smart grids, banks, communications and all other aspects of a nation’s technology infrastructure.

The cyber army would number about a thousand soldiers ranging from elite computer commandos to basic college trained geeks, according to the plan.

A key to success was stealthily breaching networks and establishing beachheads in computer systems during the two years before the main cyber invasion.

“Once you give me two years to get set up you are basically screwed,” Miller said. “But, during the two years you have the opportunity to see what is going on and stop it before it gets going.”

Miller determined that single targets, such as stock market or military networks, could be attacked much more economically.

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