How to Prepare for a Cyber Attack: ‘These Systems Could Be Completely Inoperable or Breached’

by | Jul 12, 2015 | Headline News | 68 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    The following article has been contributed by the ever insightful and always informative Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the author of several books, including her latest The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget.


    There is a lot of debate on whether Wednesday’s computer issues that shut down the New York Stock Exchange, the Wall Street Journal, and United Airlines were just a very strange coincidence (very strange) or a deliberate cyber attack.

    This isn’t the first possible cyber attack on the United States this year. Heck, it’s not even the first one this summer. On June 5, Reuters reported a breach occurred that comprimised the personal information of millions of federal employees, both current and former. This breach was traced back to a “foreign entity or government.”

    Regardless of the origin of the so-called computer”glitches” that shut down Wall Street and a major airline, the events of Wednesday gave us just a tiny glimpse at how serious a cyber attack could be.

    What exactly is a cyber attack?

    A cyber attack is more than just shutting down the computer systems of a specified entity. It is defined as “deliberate exploitation of computer systems, technology-dependent enterprises and networks. Cyberattacks use malicious code to alter computer code, logic or data, resulting in disruptive consequences that can compromise data and lead to cybercrimes, such as information and identity theft.”

    Technopedia lists the following consequences of a cyber attack:

    • Identity theft, fraud, extortion
    • Malware, pharming, phishing, spamming, spoofing, spyware, Trojans and viruses
    • Stolen hardware, such as laptops or mobile devices
    • Denial-of-service and distributed denial-of-service attacks
    • Breach of access
    • Password sniffing
    • System infiltration
    • Website defacement
    • Private and public Web browser exploits
    • Instant messaging abuse
    • Intellectual property (IP) theft or unauthorized access

    Cyber attacks happen far more frequently than you might think. Check out this real-time map for a look at the almost constant seige.

    How does a cyber attack affect you?

    You may think that if you don’t spend your day working online, that an attack on our computer infrastructure isn’t that big of a deal. You may feel like it wouldn’t affect you at all.

    Unfortunately, there are very few people in the country that would remain completely unaffected in the event of a major cyber attack. Our economy, our utility grids, and our transportation systems are all heavily reliant upon computers. This makes us very vulnerable to such an attack.

    And by vulnerable, I mean that if it was done on a big enough scale, it could essentially paralyze the entire country.

    Here are some of the systems that are reliant on computers.

    In the event of a widespread cyber attack, the following could be either completely inoperable or breached. Keep in mind that a domino effect could occur that effects systems beyond the original target.

    • Gas stations (most of the pumps are now digital and connect right to your bank)
    • Banks (all of the records are online) would not be able to process electronic transactions. ATM machines would not function to allow customers access to cash.
    • Utility systems (most power stations are run by computers)
    • Water treatment facilities (these are automated too)
    • Protection of personal information, including data about your finances, medical records, physical location, and academic records – everything a person would need to steal your identity
    • Government operations, including dangerous identifying information about federal employees or members of the military
    • Transportation systems (trains, subways, and planes are heavily reliant upon computers)
    • Traffic management systems like stoplights, crosswalks, etc.
    • Air traffic control
    • Everyday trade – most business have a computerized cash register that communicates directly with banks. Many business are also reliant on scanning bar codes for inventory control and pricing. Point-of-sale systems would be down and people would not be able to pay using credit or debit cards.
    • Telecommunications systems can be affected if cell towers are disabled or if the landline system were directly attacked. As more people rely on VOIP, taking down internet service would serve a dual purpose.
    • SMART systems could be shut down or manipulated. All of those gadgets that automate climate control, use of utilities, or appliances through SMART technology are vulnerable.

    Here’s a video from NATO that explains a little bit more about the dangers of cyber attacks.

    Prepping to survive a cyber attack

    Prepping for a cyber attack is not that different from prepping for other types of disasters that affect the grid. You want to be able to operate independently of  public utilities, stores, or public transportation.

    Click each item to learn more details.

    1. Have a supply of water stored in case municipal supplies are tainted or shut down
    2. Be prepared for an extended power outage.
    3. Have a food supply on hand, as well as a way to prepare your food without the grid.
    4. Keep cash in small denominations on hand in the event that credit cars, debit cards, and ATMs are inoperable.
    5. Keep vehicles above half way full of fuel, and store extra gasoline.
    6. Be prepared for off-grid sanitation needs.
    7. Invest in some communications devices like ham radio or one of these other options.
    8. Be ready to hunker down at home to avoid the chaos that could come in the aftermath of a massive cyber attack. Be prepared to defend your home if necessary.
    9. Remember that your prepper supplies and skills will see you through this disaster
      just like any other.
    10. Protect your identity with a service like LifeLock (which will alert you to suspicious activity once things return to normal). Use some of these tips to keep your information locked down.

    What do you think?

    So, let’s hear from the “hive mind” of the preparedness community. How likely do you think it is that we’ll be hit by a massive cyber attack? Was the event on Wednesday just a coincidence or some kind of test run? What other effects do you think a massive cyber attack might have? Do you have any additional preparedness tips for such an event? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

    The Pantry Primer

    Please feel free to share any information from this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper and the following bio.

    Daisy Luther is the author of The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide To Whole Food on a Half Price Budget.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]

    Also From Daisy Luther:

    San Andreas for Preppers: 12 Essential Survival Lessons from the Movie

    12 Bad Strategies That Will Get Preppers Killed

    Lock and Load: Are You Prepared for Civil Unrest?

    You’ve Been Warned: Why You Need to Be Ready for Total Grid Failure


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      1. A cyber attack usually has a purpose, otherwise what is the point. A cyber attack preceded the U.S. invasion of Iraq to disable critical systems before the U.S. started bombing.

        When we had several ‘glitches’ of major systems all on the same day, it wasn’t just the possibility of a cyber attack that bothered me so much, it was the possibility of the cyber attack being followed-up with a for real attack on U.S. soil.


        • Something’s not right with that “Norse Map”. It has repeatedly locked up my computer. Pretty much whenever I stay on the site for more than 5 minutes.

        • Beaver, are we hearing so much about this because tptb want to get us all stirred up and “aware” of the all bad things cyber criminals can do to us once they steal our identity?

          Then tptb can pull the plug on the internet to “protect” us from all the naughty boys out there. The sheeple would be clamoring for them “to do something” to protect them.

          Perfect scenario for tptb to do their dastardly deeds and we that are awake and alert would be severely hampered in our efforts to communicate.

        • Excellent point.
          You are more right than you realize.
          Years ago, David Wilkerson wrote that in a dream that God showed him: Points of light arising out of the west coast, gulf of mexico which were submarine launched missiles and the US response was slow due to the inability of our defense force to respond.

          You may not believe, but consider your blog.

      2. Eh

        • Kulafarmer.


          • Yep,
            Sunday chuckles!

        • If you ain’t prepared by now, you are surely fucked badly. It’ll be FEMA camp central or death, or both

          • If this shit happens, do the opposite of what anyone wearing a uniform tells you do do.

            • “everything a person would need to steal your identity”

              Hell, my ex husband screwed that up when he charged up all the cards then filed for bankruptcy, so let ’em get arrested for posing as me or trying to get credit or something in my name.

              I’d laugh my ass off. Even I’m not that stupid. I haven’t made any effort to fix it either. If I’m not going to use credit cards, nobody else is in my name.

              • Sixpack, I’ve never had any credit cards and refuse to get one. I buy my preps with cash only except for some rare online shopping on a debit card and I do that as little as possible. So I have a smaller footprint than most people where identity theft is concerned. Being debt-free allows me to get more preps at one time than I would’ve been able to otherwise. I won’t let any kind of debt interfere with my prepping. And some people claim I’M stupid? That’s just trolls saying that and their opinion doesn’t count in my book.

          • Zero, I’m prepped and still prepping, so I’m NOT inepting.

            • Braveheart I’m glad there are people such as yourself that are awake and will fight. It sometimes feels as though we are alone in a very large crowd of sheep going BAAAAAAA

              • Zero, I’m all too familiar with that feeling. It’s totally useless to talk to any non-prepper about prepping. I learned that right after Katrina. One person even told me to get out of the deep end of the pool. That was my last time talking to anyone about prepping. If they want to be fools that’s their choice. They’ll end up being DEAD fools.

                • Zero, PS, I don’t trust authority figures and ignore them. I was never built to be a good little Nazi.

          • @ Zero. correct. You had better have all your preps now. If you are not at your BOL and a EMP hits….you aint gonna make it….especially if you live in a city with 1000000 porch monkeys and no gas stations operating.

            • I hope I’m not far away when it happens. But I have two legs and I’ll walk but carrying my get home bag, my 15 and as much ammo as I can comfortably carry. Never leave home without it.

      3. They could take down the power grid. That would be the kill shot.

        • That shot would go right over my head. I’m set up to function without power, indefinitely if necessary.

      4. Disruption of your daily routine will upset many people. Not being to “Get It Now” will really set people off. No Phone, T.V. or loud music.
        We will have to talk to people instead of texting. You should have taken the precautions by now.

        Count the gunshots instead of sheep to go to sleep at night. ;0)

        • Slingshot, there’s gunfire in several different parts of my city every night. That’s par for the course where I live.

        • It was good to see that my 8th cousin finally married into some real money. If they have children, I’ll have some Rothschild cousins.

          The news articles didn’t give the couple’s full names. They are James Amschel Victor Rothschild (b. 1985) and Nicholai Olivia “Nicky” Hilton (b. 10-5-1983). More for the bankster database.

      5. Having to actually talk to people face to face might upset the globalists plans. They would think the people are conspiring against them outside the established vast spy structure that has been set up. To crash it all would bring the people together, turn the reality on them, what goes around comes around. That is probably why it is still up and running.

      6. Gas stations down,grid down…thats the big stuff. The rest I could suffer with.

      7. Gas stations down,grid down…thats the big stuff. The rest I could suffer with.

      8. Would we be able to tell the difference between an EMP,
        solar flare or cyber attack. Would the government tell us the truth. We have had our warning to put away 3 days of water and food by FEMA.
        Shit would just go dark. You’re on your own.

        • “Would we be able to tell the difference between an EMP, solar flare or cyber attack.”

          Well, yes. The EMP would fry solid state electronics, isolated unshielded systems, networks, and devices, as well as the electrical grid. A X-class solar flare would ‘only’ take down the electrical grid and probably any isolated unshielded electrical power systems that exist.

          Both probably followed by Fukushima-type events at most, if not all, nuclear power stations in the affected area – barring sensible intervention, which may or may not happen.

          A cyber attack on the power grid could look like a solar flare, but isolated system would likely be unaffected. But it need not be only an attack on the power grid.

          A clever, well resourced, attacker might hack the ATC system to allow unauthorized infiltration flights to go unnoticed or to appear authorized. Maybe older commercial aircraft on auto-pilot, carrying nuclear warheads – a poor man’s cruise missile strike – or something else. (Somebody should make that a movie.)

          • You can a nice 727-200 for $700,000. Squawk 7777 on mode 3.

        • And what the hell good is 3 days worth of anything?

          • Ammo

        • Solar flare EMP we will get hours of warning. Cyber attack on the grid, the grid will go down but your stuff will still work. Nuclear EMP attack nothing electronic will work at all, except what was stored in cages.

          • depends on distance and terrain

      9. All it takes is one bad app available from Google’s app store to turn millions of Android phones into a network of DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) bots. I would suggest an app allowing one to rotate Kim Kardasian’s monstrous ass in 3D as one that would be widely distributed. Since Google was most probably CIA-NWO funded, there are probably 1000’s of zombie bot-nets waiting to be activated.

        • How low USA has fallen. These days, big fatt asses are said to be desirable and ‘curvasious’. Heck, women are now PAYING to make their ass bigger. The whole USA is now a ‘hood.

      10. Preparing to defend yourself, your home and your loved ones from being accosted or from home invasion and abduction (“evacuation”) by government– “for your safety” from marauding thugs (sent by government)– will be your most imminent need, aside from the good suggestions listed by this article.

      11. The one thing Daisy missed was dump your Windows and Mac OS. I run Linux on all my computers. I’m a retired software engineer, so I can fight with Linux and get it to work with anything. There is never A FAQ to cover my new printer or scanner. But if you want to be safe from Malware, pharming, phishing, spamming, spoofing, spyware, Trojans and viruses, switch to Linux( I suggest Ubuntu with a Gnome classic desktop). All her other stuff is what we all do, except the lifelock.

        • I was thinking just dump the computers,,,,

          • A complete library, Movie house, and class room in only 6 pounds. Add a few Tera-byte external storage and you have it all. Download is your friend.
            Remember prepping allows for books, games, and entertainment to keep the spirits up. Your little laptop can do it all for very little energy.

            • Rellik and Kulafarmer, unless you have some computers in a faraday, they’ll be fried by an EMP. I have a netbook and some memory sticks with data that are in a faraday plus I’m inthe process of making some hard copies of the most important data I have. All the electronics I’m preserving, plus some LED lights, are in a metal trash can [$25 from Home Depot] with some packing bubbles for insulation [a 9ft. roll from the UPS store or fedex for $15]. And don’t forget extra batteries for those radios, flashlights, etc. Just bought another metal trash can with insulation for the batteries only. I don’t know if an EMP would affect batteries but I’m not taking a chance on that.

              • My computers are in a Faraday cage(metal shop) running on WiFi. I’m also a retired electronics engineer. I used to design power supplies for use on airplanes at a famous airplane company. Ask me how to bulletproof a piece of electronics. Laptops are pretty well protected just sitting there on your table. Desktops are another story.
                I think your batteries are pretty safe, keep them in the Refrigerator like I do(Reffer is a Faraday cage also).

                Prep on!

                • Rellik, I appreciate the tip on laptops. I’ve got 3 laptops and 1 netbook, so if 1 of those dies on me, I’m still in good shape. Haven’t had a desktop in 8 years. I just wasn’t sure about the batteries. I’ve got some LED flashlights that I love and want to preserve. I’ve heard there are circuits in the LED lights that can be fried by EMP. Batteries definitely last longer in the LEDs than in the old type. I’ve got one old 2 D-cell Mag Light I converted to LED by just installing an LED bulb. All models of the Mag Light, including the Mini Mag Light, can be converted to LED now by just changing to the LED bulb. The bulbs are available at hardware and sporting goods stores everywhere. You’ll appreciate the extended battery life which saves money on batteries long-term. The old krypton and xenon bulbs kill batteries with only one hour of use.

                  • An LED is as about a simple as it gets. I can wire your whole house with LEDs, a few capacitors and a resistor or two all running off 220 or 120, your choice. EMP will not affect a LED junction.
                    The reason they last so long in flash lights is that the current is limited to 5- 20 ma vs 125 ma for a incandescent. Once you exceed VF on a LED, voltage doesn’t matter as a LED is a current device.
                    Until you get around 600 volts or so as long as you limit current flow LEDs will work fine.

                • If your computer works on wifi inside your cage, your cage is not isolating the electronics!

                  • Wired Access Point is why it works.

        • Rellik,

          I was waiting for someone to get into this. Actually protecting our computers and not just reacting to everyone else’s mismanagement and computer problems.

          Ubuntu is an excellent choice, it is a flavor of Linux, it can be downloaded for free, and installed to a CD or DVD. Once sealed so no one can write to it, you can boot from it, save files to a thumb drive. And once you quit or reboot the PC has no trace of what you did or you data. Each new session is completely independent from the last. This type of installation is virtually immune to hackers.

          People can make a disk especially for their old useless windows XP machines. Even if the PC is totally infested with viruses you can boot from your Ubuntu CD, and what’s on your windows XP hard drive can’t touch it. You could do your banking fully secure, and then shut down not leaving a trace of your transactions to be stolen by hackers.

          You can take those older PC that have been patched to death by Microsoft, save your personal data and files to a thumb drive and then just install Ubuntu over windows and the PC will get new life, and will be more secure. Ubuntu comes with several applications that can often work with your old files.

          • Let me add that if you have any kind of survival data, like canning guides, cook books, solar/wind design. You may need a computer that can let you view these things even after the worlds computers are infected and attacked to the point of being useless….. Yes even your PC!

            An Ubuntu boot disk could be invaluable.

      12. Remember when computer technology was rare? The world seemed to get along just fine without it.

        • When I was in college, everything was slide rules. We put men on the moon using slide rules. Orbital mechanics were done on mainframes which still used vacuum tubes. Had less memory and CPU power than a Kaypro 10. They rarely stayed running for more than 24 hours at a stretch.

          Yeah, I’m really that old. I still have my Kaypro. Wanna play Pong? Still have my slide rule, too, and remember how to use the trig functions.

          • I tip my hat to you! I bough a log log slide rule and self taught to use it just as a history lesson. Now I can’t even read the scales anymore.

            • Yeah, I’d have to read mine with a jeweler’s loupe, too. Just like I do my old micrometers and vernier calipers.

              Don’t get old, that’s my advice.

          • I still have three slide rules. One is a six-inch model that I could carry in my pocket.

            I still have my first computer, a Timex-Sinclair from the early 1980s. It had 8K of memory, and I bought the memory expansion that took it all the way up to 16K. I learned BASIC and Z80 machine language programming on that computer.

      13. ummm…

        she left out a lot of the real specific’s.

        if you want to really protect yourself and your family from cyber attacks and hacker’s.

        do your own homework!

      14. Plenty of ways to prepare,candles/firewood/solar/wind/hand powered tools/gardening/canning/hunting skills/fishing skills.Good books and board games/deck of cards would be nice!

        • @ warchild…you’d fit in real good up here with that attitude.

      15. I don’t believe in coincidences and this WAS no coincidence–3 pretty interesting targets but I also don’t believe it was a full out cyber attack but more of a feeling around–seeing how quick a handle could be put on it all- that just makes them smarter for the next time–when the real one comes–you will know it because it will be devastating. Flippin the market a bit–pissin with the automation of only ONE airline–and who cares about the WSJ–they are inconsequential to my daily activities–they were just feelin things out again–in my opinion you would think that with all the money the 3 affected entities have–they could come up with something to keep this from happening BUT UNFORTUNATLEY that cuts into the bottom DOLLAR and that’s what its all about anymore. Our entire existence anymore is all about the money which in itself is a worthless piece of paper the sheeple seem to really enjoy. Tough times are coming I suspect maybe soon but for sure sometime in the next generation. I fear for my grandchildren being born into this once great nation of ours. I do miss the America of my youth.

        • ” I do miss the America of my youth.”

          On my June road trip I went to a band concert in Fort Dodge,IA.
          The Karl King Band was playing on flag day and they played all the popular Americana tunes you’d expect. We ate home made cake and home made ice cream as we sat on the lawn in front of the band shell listening to real musicians play real musical instruments. The sun was just setting through the trees and casting yellow shades on the beautiful green lawn.

          The America of our youth is still out there, you just have to look real hard to find it.

          The band played The Stars and Stripes Forever. I used to watch my grandpa play the piccolo part in my youth. He was great!!

          Take a listen:

      16. Message to Braveheart and others eventually planning on bugging out:

        Please consider bugging out by August 7th or even sooner!

        (The closer we get to September the more that bad things will continue to happen and complicate things like transportation and survival.

        More cyber attacks will shut down power grids and if you need gas to get from Point A (where you are now) to Point B (your bug out destination), what will you do either before you leave or if you are halfway there if the pumps can’t pump gas either because there is no electricity or because a hack shut down the pumps?

        One last thing: do not announce on here when you are bugging out.

        Good luck to you, and God be with you.

        – the Lone Ranger

      17. I had to laugh when United said it was a network server that caused their issue, to think that a billion dollar company would let a single network server cause that many failures is pitiful, I work on a DP-3 vessel, everything is triple rundandant, when one server doesn’t match the other two, it just kicks it out goes on about it’s business and flashes a warning message at you.

        But I guess since a majority of the masses have a network router at home that they have been told to “reset” at one time or another, it was a good excuse to get most people to buy into it.

        Question…..just got done reading “One Second After”……would a metal trash can for EMP protection need to be grounded on a rod or no?

        Still gonna maintain my Doubting Thomas role to the rest of the world; but becoming more convinced the dots are more than just coincidence.

        (So what happens in mid Oct though and nothing is any different, I’ve been asking myself that lately)…..yeah my home is better protected, but I’d kinda feel silly when my wife will be giving daily I told you so looks!!!

        • Even in a 50-person office, our corp’s local server was triple. That was six years ago, before I retired. United story sounds fishy to me.

        • From what I understand, you should not ground a Faraday cage.

          • Talk to the head of your physics department.

            Ground it.

      18. The Pleiadians 2015! Economic Collapse, Revolution and More!

        You might very well think that this is stupid, fake, demons, etc. but there are some very interesting mentions of hacking in this new “channeling” of the entities known as ‘the Pleiadians’:

      19. Daisy:

        You forgot to mention the two most overlooked potentially devastating cyber attack targets, ones that I am willing to bet are more vulnerable than the NYSE, and which if breached would literally stop the USA in its tracks. I am referring to public GPS providers such as Garmin and on board computer assistance programs such as the OnStar system.

        If a hacker were to breach either or both of these systems they could disable transportation and logistic systems.

        For example in an attack on OnStar, (or Lojax) it could define that every OnStar vehicle has been stolen and needs to be shut down.
        And an attack on GPS could be used to misdirect personal vehicles and more importantly, commercial deliveries.

      20. Any system that can be hacked today is culpable to the problem. Enough warnings and time has passed. There is absolutely no excuse for a hack any more, NONE!

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