It used to be that malware was known as a minor annoyance at best, and at worse could turn your computer into an expensive brick. But these days malware is capable of rapidly spreading across the globe, infecting water and power systems, government and corporate computer networks, banks, and even stock exchanges.
In short, cyber attacks have reached a new level of sophistication that can cause real, lasting damage to society. They’re capable of shattering economies and shutting down utilities. And by extension, cyber attacks can kill people.
That may seem far fetched for now. The WannaCry malware that spread around the world last month, as well as yesterday’s Petya cyber attack, have infected hundreds of thousands of computers, and cost governments and private companies millions of dollars. That’s inconvenient, but hardly lethal. However, the potential damage that cyber attacks can inflict can’t be ignored. Whether we like it or not, malware has advanced to a point where it is capable of wreaking havoc on society.
Which is why governments are now beginning to treat cyber attacks like military threats. And because their status has been elevated in the eyes of governments around the world, that means that cyber attacks could one day be responsible for starting wars.
The recent Petya cyber attack for instance, has been widely blamed on the Russian government (though it should be noted that it takes advantage of an exploit developed by the NSA.). It has led NATO to announce that in the future, cyber attacks could trigger the alliance’s mutual defense clause, which states that if one nation is attacked by a foreign aggressor, every member of NATO must strike back.
Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, said alliance members agreed last year that a cyber attack could trigger Article 5 of the north Atlantic treaty in the same way as a conventional military assault and promised more help to Ukraine to bolster its own cyber defences.
“The attack in May and this week just underlines the importance of strengthening our cyber defences and that is what we are doing,” Mr Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday…
…Mr Stoltenberg said the alliance had also defined cyber defence as a Nato domain on a par with land, air, and sea operations, and would see similar planning and funding as a result.
On Tuesday Michael Fallon, the British defence secretary, said the UK would consider retaliating with military means against a cyber attack by another state, reflecting rising concern about the militarization of cyber space the havoc such attacks can cause.
These people are basically threatening to start World War Three if the Russian government ever delivers a cyber attack that cripples a NATO nation. Cyber attacks have officially opened a whole new can of worms on the global stage. That’s because these kinds of attacks are elusive. It can be difficult or even impossible to figure out who’s responsible when malware is spreading across the planet.
So now it’s possible that one nation could destroy another and never face any repercussions. Or one government could deploy malware on its own citizens, and blame it on another government that they wish to go to war with. Or terrorists could spark a war between rival nations. All they would have to do is deploy multiple cyber attacks to both nations, and wait for them to blame each other.
And just like that, the world has become a far more dangerous place.
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As with the alleged Russian hacking of the US election, they don’t need any proof of another Russian cyber attack. They want that war, and by God, they will have it one way or another.
I remember reading several years ago that one of the signs that war was about to break out would be a ramping up of cyber attacks.
I am really serious when I saw that I see several signs that seem to precede war.
I saw China building man made Islands (it has nothing to do with resources and will not aid their legal standing)is the same as Japan fortifying Pacific Island prior to WWII. I could go on and on but you guys read these article.
What is currently happening is DIFFERENT and it is not fear mongering. These are the kinds of events that happen prior to shooting wars.
My point is that people on the coasts should/must have a bug out plan in place. War is one thing I will seek to flee from.
Not any different than flooding the radio waves and tv airwaves with clutter to prevent information from getting out.
Absolutely correct ‘john stiner’. The entire digital edifice we’ve created is simply not real unless that same control mechanisms driven by software works with real-world machines. Data is increasingly a temporary delusion for both financial and personal record-keeping. Only an idiot would think to preserve either solely by such a means. As a supposed ‘civilization’ we’ve made an incredible error in thinking progress is to relinquish control over critical systems to some program. Merely consider the term ‘social networking’ and ask if it is really either word. It is not personally and can-reach-out-and-touch ‘social’; nor is it, true affect physical change networking. Rely on what can be touched only, that’s the best mantra to follow.
We have all read the “same articles” for nearly 10 years and I’m concerned that we have become numb and discount these events as more of the same. But it’s not more of the same things are changing: (1) Interest Rates are rising. This is a MAJOR occurrence as it is the #1 economic factor to watch; (2) the US is confronting/provoking both Russia and China in their respective areas of national concern.
These are major occurrences that should make us refocus our efforts. I am prepping harder than I did in 2007/2008. I know that I’m tired of prepping and feel a little foolish that the “Big One” has not hit, but the storm IS approaching the shore.
Justice, I’m seeing the same things and more. I can be a t my BOL in only a few hours since most of my supplies are already there. I’m afraid war will come to us and we won’t have any choice but to fight.
Braveheart, I moved out to Western Maryland, away from Washington and Baltimore and felt safer to be among like minded people.
But the prospect of war is making me re-think my preps. I am organizing everything into go bags and will pre-position assets in Kentucky. This will be my first bug out location.
It’s starting to look like economic collapse may be the least of our concerns.
Justice, if you can get a place in KY, you’ll be better off. Western MD sounds like it’s not far enough away from massive population centers. I’ve lived and worked on the east coast in years past and I know how DENSE it is. People are more packed in now than they used to be.
Hey Man it’s me terry. We want to School together
What’s your phone number????? I’ll call you up
Braveheart, you are assuming that you can get there in 3 hours. Ive been places decades ago that a 3 hour car trip at 60mph would take days, and even weeks, because of the hostile environment. You plan is deeply flawed. the only plan that works is to “be there to get there”. Retire and go… you are within SS and retirement age.
Anonymous, I’ve got another trip scheduled there for August but could be going sooner the way things are sounding. And my trip takes 4 hours even in the BEST conditions. No flaws in my plan. I know several different routes and have used each one. I always keep 2 extra 5-gal. gas cans full just in case. I always know how to tell when it’s time to go. My next trip could very well be the bugout trip.
Me thinks will be just the opposite. Enemy will take advantage of us after cyber attack and grid down. No communication = no organization for resistance.
Cris P Bacon
What advantage and what enemy?
The US military retaliatory capability would not be effected. One OHIO Class submarine can put 192 110kt (5 x Hiroshima each) warheads on independent targets.
That is no one you “take advantage of”.
The artificial islands are built to stop the coming tide of Chinese refugees trying to escape the imminent regime change. From what I can see, the communist days are numbered.
This will be MESSY… and I live right next door.
So those islands have nothing to do with securing squatters rights over South China Sea oil? Considering where China has been with war lords and pure communism (not this hybrid) its safe to say that the standard of living there has dramatically risen.
Hillary Clinton once threatened Russia, over Server-gate.
They just keep recycling the same narratives.
NATO says a large cyber attack could provoke a war that NATO secretly wants. NATO hasn’t looked at their own pathetic ground forces lately. Who ever NATO gets into a big war with, will most likely kick NATO’s big fat ass.
The problem with bug-out locations in a nuclear war is that you can’t be sure of where the missiles will land. With earthquakes, you avoid the fault lines. With tsunamis, you avoid the coastal areas. For all you know, one of the incoming ICBMs might be aimed at or close to your BOL. You can only try to pick a good spot.
The cyber attacks on utilities that bring down the grid concern me much more. The middle east is where the greatest risk for nuclear war. A regional war escalating into global war.
If you live through a nuclear exchange which would be followed by a biological attack as “the gloves would come off” its not a Robinson Crusoe adventure but rather a horrific struggle to live a terrible and short life. Unless your BOL is in some southern hemisphere nation, preferably South America (not AFRICA) that is too unimportant to be nuked and bio attacked your screwed.
“The cyber attacks on utilities that bring down the grid concern me much more”
Thats a correctable inconvenience.
NATO Secretary General Warns Future Cyber Attacks Could Spark A War”
ABSOLUTELY! But whose one?