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White House Cyber Czar: 'there Is No Cyberwar'

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White House cyber-security coordinator Howard Schmidt

"As for getting into the power grid, I can't see that that's realistic," says White House cyber-security coordinator Howard Schmidt.


Howard Schmidt, the new cybersecurity czar for the Obama Administration, has a short answer for the drumbeat of rhetoric claiming the United States is caught up in a cyberwar that it is losing.

"There is no cyberwar," Schmidt told in a sit-down interview Wednesday (March 3) at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco. "I think that is a terrible metaphor and I think that is a terrible concept," Schmidt says. "There are no winners in that environment."

Instead, Schmidt said the government needs to focus its cybersecurity efforts to fight online crime and espionage.

His stance contradicts Michael McConnell, the former director of national intelligence who made headlines last week when he testified to Congress that the country was already in the midst of a cyberwar—and was losing it.

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