Optical network security: Inside a fiber-optic hack


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The Threat of a Fiber Hack
The criminal threat continues to grow: Consumer Affairs estimates that in 2005 more than 50 million Americans received notification that their personal data was stolen due to a data security breach. The FBI Cybercrime unit estimates that more than $100 billion a year is lost through corporate espionage.

To counter this, billions are spent on information security products. The SANS Institute listed the federal government's 2006 IT security budget alone at $1.685 billion—up 7.2 percent from 2005.

Unfortunately, optical hacks render most traditional security methodologies ineffective. Financial, health care, insurance and publicly traded companies saddled with regulatory compliance rarely consider that private and sensitive data delivered over fiber-optic communication systems is vulnerable to being captured through virtually undetectable hacks.

Your data transmissions may have already been compromised without your being aware of it. Securing fiber-optic transmission can be costly and difficult, and the bad guys, as usual, have a head start.

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This was first published in November 2006

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