Watching CNBC coverage of Senate hearings this afternoon, I heard Senator Bennett say the following:
"If I were someone who wished this country ill, I would be more anxious to find a way to hack into the computer system and shut down the Fedwire, than I would to try to find a way to get a suitcase nuclear device into lower Manhattan, because the damage to the economy of shutting down the Fedwire would be greater than the damage by a nuclear explosion from a suitcase bomb virtually anywhere, whether it was lower Manhattan or Pennsylvania Avenue or whatever it might be.
I hope in your stewardship as the chairman of the Fed you pay attention to cyberterrorism and the vulnerability that we have to those who might break in, hack in."
This is an interesting comment, and it is great to see Senator Bennett give such importance to the issue. However, I’ll have to say that I don’t agree with the fundamental premise of a cyberattack being more damaging than a nuclear attack in NYC. I expect with a nuclear attack that the FEDWIRE would shut down anyway and the impact from a personnel and confidence perspective from a nuclear attack would be catastrophic.