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By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s warfare where the weapons aren’t missiles and bullets, but rather keyboards and data.

A new study released by the University of Maryland puts our state in the middle of that cyber battlefield.

As Alex DeMetrick reports, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In cyberspace, information flows both ways. That’s a plus for peaceful uses, but not so good when cyber war is waged.

“Anybody who works in this area is convinced that next to a nuclear weapon, a cyber attack on the United States would be the most dangerous thing that could happen to us. We essentially would be paralyzed,” said Dr. Michael Greenberger, of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security.

Potential targets range from air traffic control, to banking and finance, to the shutting down of the nation’s electric grid. War is already being waged against U.S. agencies which are constantly being probed for classified information.

“Before the sun sets on the Potomac, the Pentagon will be attacked one million times, trying to get at our state secrets,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski.

But a University of Maryland study just released finds those targets also make Maryland the potential center for cyber security.

“It’s both a challenge, but an opportunity for the university and our state,” said Dr. William Kirwan, Chancellor of the University of Maryland.

According to the most recent numbers, 2,000 Maryland students graduated with degrees in cyber security.

“The educational institutions have to produce the workforce, the talent, to be successful in winning this war,” said Kirwan.

And winning economically, if the frontline of defense goes through Maryland.

The university study doesn’t just stress more cyber security course work in college. It recommends the math and engineering that go into that work start at the high school level.


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