June 5, 2020

Cyber war

Are cyber wars at our doorstep?

In recent months the world has made the acquaintance of anew and perfectly designed computer worm with a specific purpose. Known asStuxnet, this dangerous code targets industrial systems by using hithertounknown security portals. Stuxnet is the first harbinger of a new era in whichcomputer worms will be able to wreak damage beyond the abstract world on theconcrete world around us.

Viruses like Stuxnet can, for example, damage the pumps onwater, natural gas, and oil pipelines. They can cause overloads on electricalpower distribution grids and transmission lines, causing them to malfunction,even explode. They can pave the way to the unanticipated collapse of systemssuch as mass transport, health, logistics and banking systems.

Given that the digital hardware and software produced byhumans is not going to be flawless, it is very difficult right now to estimatewhere and how far this danger may go in the future. I