In the early 2000s, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded no fewer than 12 key computer security projects under the umbrella of the Composable High-Assurance Trustworthy Systems (CHATS) program. Peter G. Neumann from the Stanford Research Institute Computer Science Laboratory led one of those key projects. The emphasis in the CHATS program was on trustworthy open-source operating systems having trusted components. A technical paper on the results of the project appeared in the 2003 DISCEX03 proceedings Achieving Principled Assuredly Trustworthy Composable Systems and Networks.
In a less technical piece appearing in The New Yorker in May 2001, Peter G. Neumann underscored his concerns about the possibility of the cyber-criminal arm causing a Cyber Apocalypse. What worried Neumann was “the big one.” Because malicious crackers can get into the United States’ most critical computers in just a few minutes and clear a third of the computer drives in America in a single day, or because they could shut down the power grids and emergency-response systems of numerous states, Neumann warned in his piece that the Internet lies in wait for its Chernobyl. Moreover, Neumann said that he does not believe the wait will be much longer.
Specter, M. The Doomsday Click. The New Yorker. May 28, 2001, p. 101–107; SRI International Computer Science Laboratory. Peter G. Neumann. [Online, 2004.] SRI International Computer Science Laboratory Website. http://www.csl.sri.com/users/ neumann/neumann.html.