Here is a VERY interesting article from a blog I frequent:
DHS Releases Cyber Storm Reporthttp://weblog.infoworld.com/techwatch/archives/007886.html
Four years ago, I wrote an essay called, Cyberwar: How Terrorists Could Defeat the U.S., and Why They Won't. It's an informal summary of what I learned back in the mid 1990s, when I researched information warfare in college. If you cut through all the BS wonk-speak, the bottom line is that a kill shot could be delivered to the U.S. economy by rudimentary physical attacks on critical infrastructures.
The Department of Homeland Security, after running a massive simulation on such an attack, pretty much confirmed my analysis. I say pretty much, because they don't explicitly call it a kill shot. They dress it up with a lot of stuff that makes the still warm cow sh*t I put on my garden beds smell like perfume.
In any event, it sounds like the scenario that DHS gamed was more or less similar to the one I laid out in the "Possible Terrorist Scenario" section of my essay.
So, I'll keep asking the question: If the U.S. could be taken down with shovels, hatchets and bolt cutters, why haven't "the terrorists" done it?
I'll take it a bit further: Now that They're gaming this scenario with the actual PHBs from the companies, it might mean that They ARE planning to take it down, mostly to obscure the real financial crimes that have already been carried out, and want to get it right. It'll be a slight of hand trick, when the economy is about the splatter against the wall, and people might start wondering what happened, and who ripped them off... The fiber will go dark. The datacenters will write zeros to the disks. The tape backups will go up in flames.
What happened to all the evidence of financial crimes? "Oh, uh, Your Honor, the terrorists destroyed it when they took out the Internet. There was a lot of confusion, uh, Your Honor." It'll be the next best thing since, "My dog ate my homework."
The exercise simulated a large-scale cyber campaign that disrupts multiple critical infrastructure, as well as simulated "physical demonstrations and disturbances" to test the ability of government to respond to multiple incidents simultaneously, even when its not clear that the events are related (read: 9/11).
So how'd our government do? Not so well.
Related: NSA Risking Electrical Overload: "The Terrorists" and Sustainable Fascism