Winn Schwartau Predictions and More…
“Electronic Pearl Harbor” Winn Schwartau testified before Congress on June 27, 1991
(Coined the phrase)
“Electronic Pearl Harbor” CIA Director John Deutch testified before Congress, June 26, 1996
On June 27, 1991 I was asked to report to the Congressional Subcommittee on
Technology and Competitiveness, Committee on Science, Space and Technology
about the state of security in the private sector and government. The following quotes
(available from the committee as well) sum it all up.
“Government and commercial computer systems are so poorly protected today
they can essentially be considered defenseless – an Electronic Pearl Harbor waiting to
happen. As a result of inadequate security planning on the part of both the government
and the private sector, the privacy of most Americans has virtually disappeared.”
At the time detractors said I was “overstating the condition” and “cyber-terrorism
simply doesn’t exist.” They were wrong then and many are still wrong about my other
predictions. My predictions since the late 1980’s have been right on.
For that I am sorry. I wish someone had listened. Here is a sampling.
1984-1990: Enigma and Compsec II (basis for the Novel DoD C2 network security
system) employs Program Whitelisting as a malware deterrent. No one seemed to
1989: Data viruses and macro viruses will come our way and not need executable
code to spread or infect. 1996: Word Macro virus is the biggest fastest spreading
virus in history.
1989: Coined the word HERF Gun and EMPT Bomb. 1996: Both now in popular
1990: The government will need to implement its own crypto system to control their
hegemony over security and information. 1993: The Clipper Chip.
1990: Warned Congress and America about dangers of Cyberterrorism: was labeled
1990: Sold C2 Network Security system (created in 1985) to Novel and Centel
1991: Coined the term, Electronic Pearl Harbor in U.S. Congressional testimony and
1991: Chipping, the intentional modification of integrated circuits to do malicious
things will come soon.
1992: US News and World Report and Nightline report on chip-based computer
virus to defeat Iraqis. I proved it was a hoax within 1/2 hour. 1994: First commercial
chipping example with modified keyboards that spewed out dirty words when not
1993: Coined term “Information Warfare”. Didn’t know it was classified at the time.
1994-1996: Information Warfare goes mainstream.
1993: Founded InfowarCon, world’s first and still largest conference on
1994: HERF Guns, the nuclear weapons of the nuclear age are the coming ‘thing.’
1995: Government holds secret DEW (Directed Energy Weapons conference at
1994: (November) Predicted Cyber-Civil Disobedience using Denial of Service
attacks on the Internet. 1995 (November): First attacks of this style occur in France.
December Italy. February 1996, USA. March, Mexico.
1995: Call the “Most Dangerous Man in America, and the Most Valuable” by former
CIA Case Officer
1995: Denial of Service attacks are the only useful attacks any more. 1995-6: Denial
of Service ‘events’ are occurring all over. Heightened sensitivity to DOS.
Named the “Civilian Architect of Information Warfare” by U.K. Admiral Patrick Tyrrell
1995: Predicted that Time is the metric by which security can be measured.
Established first formulas for measuring security.
1996 “Electronic Pearl Harbor” made mainstream by CIA Director John Deutsch
1996: Exported US commercial products will contain intelligence and military
Trojans. Proactive Defensive Information Warfare.
1996: Designed Internet-wide system to protect against DOS.
1996: Predicted malicious code will be found to be cause of many DOS events.
1996: In New York Newsday editorial, declares use of Microsoft products and OSs a
National Security threat.
1996: HERF weapons will come out of the closet within 12-18 months, whether the
military likes it or not. Several DOS attacks will be found to use this technology.
1997 Schwartau’s “Infowar.Com” web site breaks 2Million hits per month
1998: Vice President Al Gore adapts Schwartau’s Electronic Bill of Rights as his
1998: Congress holds hearings on HERF/EMP and financial sector weaknesses to
1999: Introduced Time Based Security as a method to measure and quantify
network and information security.
1999-2002: More HERF and EMP hearings in Congress. They finally care.
1999: Predict Deception will become key network defense technology.
2000: Security is all about people. Not technology. People buy in to this quickly.
2001: Schwartau’s Ethics book called the “Best Book Ever Written on Security,” Dr.
Fred Cohen, Sandia National Labs.
2002: New Security Triad will replace the old cyber-only model.
2002: Named one of the Most Influential Thinkers in America, Network World.
2002: Named Adjunct Professor, Norwich University
2002: Developed mathematical model to measure the security of people and
administrators in an Enterprise.
2003: 10th Anniversary of InfowarCon. (15 shows) Partnership with world’s largest
conference firm: Reed/Elsevier.
2003: St. Petersburg College Partnership.
2005: Terrorists are using Internet. Winn predicted 1990 in front of Congress.
2005: During DHS National Conference Keynote Speech, 25% of audiencwalks out
during “Why We Must Kill Political Correctness for Security portion”. DHS
management was thrilled.
2006: Many American Citizens support organized crime and terrorism through
2007: China attacks US Infrastructures as part of Class III IW. Winn predicted: 1992.
2007: Voted one of the Top 5 Security Thinkers for 2007 by SC Magazine.
2007: Co-Founded SCIPP International as the Security Awareness Certification
organization for Enterprise users.
2007: Named one of the Top 25 Most Influential People for 2008 by Security
2008: “Beyond Information Warfare” – new book – says we are all wrong.
2008: US Government finally considering EMP as offense and effects of attacks on
2008: Sold InfowarCon to Association of Old Crows
2008: Data Breaches affect all 300M Americans. Class I Information Warfare in full
2009: EMP, HERF are finally recognized as threats to CIP… 20 years later.
November 2009, was named one of the Top-20 security industry pioneers.
2012: World-Cyber-War I has begun. Damn. I wish I had been wrong.
2009: Government finally acknowledges ‘Chipping’ is a threat to U.S. national
security and military preparedness.
2009: Nation-state and NGO cyberwar is now part of every force projection doctrine.
2009 Named Chairman, M.A.D. Partners, LLC
2009: Smart phones will be the next attack vector for all bad hackers.
2010: First mobile bots and hostile code demonstrated
2011: Mobile infections in app stores begin life cycle growth (a la virii, 1988+)
2011: Between LulzSec and Anonympous, cybercivil disobedience and hactivism
move to the forefront of internet activities.
2011: DHS says embedded hostile software and hardware is entering the U.S.
2012: China admits massive hacking and ‘p0wning’ of US infrastructures.
2012: StuxNet (et al) first well publicized US cyber weapons
2012: DEW hits the field.
Thanks for asking. We’re still thinking.