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Innovation is both a blessing and a curse. It makes our lives simpler in numerous ways, but it also makes them more made complex in others. Among the complicating elements is that we are vulnerable in manner ins which we were not during a simpler time.
The reality of cyberattacks is one example of a vulnerability that did not exist a couple of years earlier. This week, the big news is the ransomware attack on Georgias Colonial Pipeline, which Steve Berman described today. The attack raises the possibility of gas scarcities in the Southeast, which could result in price spikes and slowed production and shipment of items.
The Colonial Pipeline attack is just the most current prominent example of cybercrime. Last year, news broke about a hack at SolarWind, an US government specialist. The hackers not just had the ability to access classified information throughout multiple agencies however supposedly were able to insert their own destructive code in an attack that went unnoticed for months.
Prior to that, there were several attacks on United States election infrastructure during the 2016 election. Numerous on the right viewed reports of the cyberattacks as an excuse for why Hillary lost, but even Trump Administration officials acknowledged the seriousness of the attacks, which were traced to Russia, an usual suspect in cybercrime. Targets of the attacks consisted of both state and local election administrations in addition to voting machine companies.
Russian cybercriminals are suspected in the Colonial Pipeline attack, however the Russian federal government has been straight linked in other attacks. In any case, there is often a thin line in between Russian wrongdoers and the Russian government, which is clearly using cyber warfare versus both business and military foes.
In 2007, the previous Soviet republic of Estonia became the first nation to be the target of a nationwide cyber attack with Russia as the wrongdoer. Cyberattacks were part of Vladimir Putins arsenal when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014. The attacks on Ukraine included taking control of electrical grids and shutting them down to cause blackouts.
Thats one of my nightmare scenarios. I used to dread the possibility of an electro-magnetic pulse attack that would shut off the electricity for much of the nation. The book “One Second After” by William Fortschen chillingly describes the aftermath of such an electricity-killing attack in our world in which almost everything is electric and the majority of us have just enough food stocked to last a couple of days.
The reality is that today an assailant would not need to introduce a nuclear EMP attack to turn off Americas electricity. It would just need a collaborated attack on the electrical grids that supply us with power. This is a danger that needs to be taken very seriously, particularly since the Russians have a history of screening this sort of warfare.
And some in the government do appear to be taking the threat seriously. United States News reported that the US was helping Ukraine in warding off a new spike in Russian cyberattacks in April 2021. In assisting allies to combat off Russian attacks, we can strengthen our own defenses, but this likewise requires a public-private collaboration because our other energies and electrical companies are typically independently owned and operated.
Ill add that the issue is not only a Russian issue. China has also had its finger prints on cyberattacks against United States business recently. Even Iran and North Korea, nations generally related to rogue nuclear dangers, have actually entered the cyber warfare organization.
Going forward, as we become more depending on electricity and the internet, cyberattacks will end up being a lot more attractive for our opponents. The investment is much less than for nuclear programs, however the outcomes of a large-scale attack could be practically as ravaging to a country. If an opponent thinks they can stay anonymous or shift the blame, the temptation to launch such an attack might be overwhelming.
Cyber attacks are going to be an issue that we must deal with for the foreseeable future. Business, specifically those that are important for power and food, ought to be dealing with the federal government to strengthen their defenses.
And Americans should keep a stockpile of emergency products just in case.
Prior to that, there were several attacks on United States election infrastructure during the 2016 election. Targets of the attacks included both state and regional election administrations as well as voting maker companies.
The book “One Second After” by William Fortschen chillingly explains the consequences of such an electricity-killing attack in our world in which almost whatever is electrical and many of us have just sufficient food stockpiled to last a couple of days.
It would just need a coordinated attack on the electrical grids that supply us with power. In helping allies to combat off Russian attacks, we can reinforce our own defenses, however this likewise requires a public-private collaboration since our electric companies and other energies are frequently privately owned and run.