Irresponsible Fearmongering

Monday October 18, 2010

•  blackout •  cybercrime •  FT •  letters • 

There’s been some irresponsible fearmongering on the opinion pages of the FT where Stephen Lange Ranzini wrote:

According to credible news reports, the large blackout in 2003 that shut down the north east and midwest of the US as far as Michigan was caused by a cyber hack.

In response, I’ve written the following to the editor of the FT:

Sir, it is astounding the FT would print as ill-considered and ill-researched letter as Stephen Ranzini’s. Mr Ranzini says “credible news reports” pinned the August 2003 US blackout on cyberhackers. No credible news report printed anything this irresponsible and no responsible party ever suggested something so foolish. The joint US-Canada task force on the outage considered this matter and dismissed it out of hand. The universally acknowledged cause were untrimmed trees in the midwest. But in recent years, we’ve learned the security establishment isn’t the only one that cries wolf. We’ve learned bankers do, too.