October 31, 2013 By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti set up a new command center Wednesday to minimize the threat that hackers, terrorists or foreign enemies will disrupt computer water, power, transportation and public safety systems.
In an executive directive creating the Cyber Intrusion Command Center, Garcetti cited Obama administration warnings that computer attacks aimed at critical infrastructure could cause panic and destruction and effectively paralyze the nation.
Working with the FBI and U.S. Secret Service, the command center will serve as a "rapid reaction force" to cyberattacks, Garcetti said.
"The command center will identify and investigate cyberthreats to city assets, ensure any intrusion is immediately addressed, and will constantly work to reduce security risks and prevent unauthorized access," he said. "It will also plan for continuity for recovery in case of a severe attack on our city."
The city's computer networks offer attractive targets to attackers. Its harbor and international airport are among the busiest in the world, and both are widely seen as vulnerable to terrorist strikes. And the L.A. Department of Water and Power is America's largest municipal utility, with a vast network of electricity plants and water lines that extend far beyond the city's borders.