Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We Were Warned about Cyber Attacks

The United States (as well as the rest of the world) has been warned by experts for years of our vulnerability to cyber-attacks. As usual, little was done by companies or the government to protect against inevitable attacks. As a result, sophisticated hackers from North Korea, China, Russia and other countries, groups, and individuals are wreaking havoc with Western computer systems. Personal, corporate, and government data have been compromised. Now we’re forced to play catch-up to defend ourselves against these sophisticated hackers whose goal is to cause damage and embarrassment to its victims.

My fear is that hackers/terrorists will be able to take control of all kinds of systems that would bring us to our knees. Think of what it would mean if hackers got control of:
-our air control system;
-various military systems;
-electrical generating plants (especially nuclear ones);
-credit card and other retail systems;
-financial systems;
-aircraft while in flight;
-other transportation and infrastructure systems.

I believe that someone hacked the Malaysia Airlines flight that was lost over the Indian Ocean. It may have been a test run for bigger hacks to come. Scary thought, isn’t it?

We see in all this the evil, the stupidity, and the greed of humans.

We see the evil in that these hackers/terrorists want to bring down companies and countries, wanting millions of people to suffer and possibly die. For what purpose?

We see the stupidity of humans in that they don’t heed warnings and do the right thing. They don’t plan ahead, knowing the risks they face in this dangerous world but ignoring the warnings.

We see the greed in that companies are more interested in profits than in protecting themselves, their employees, and their customers from harm. Look at the hacks of stores such as Target and Home Depot. They have the money to build better defenses but would rather put their customers’ personal data as risk than spend the money and show lower profits.

It’s always been a dangerous world, full of pitfalls, perils, and evildoers. The threats change as society and technology changes, but we’ll always be at risk in some form or another. Let us pray that our governments and our companies will do the right thing and invest the money to build better protections.

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