Are Cyber Attacks That Big Of A Deal?

from the life-goes-on dept

It was interesting following all the blackout related news today. It followed a fairly predictable pattern: (1) Major power outage. (2) Is it terrorism? (3) Doesn’t seem like terrorism. (4) Maybe it had to do with that weird computer worm thing. (5) Doesn’t seem to have had anything to do with that crazy computer worm thing – which most any computer expert would have told you right from the beginning. Still, people seem to be especially afraid of computer related damage. However, it’s time we faced up to the fact that, while annoying and perhaps costly to some, the eventual damage of these sorts of things is nothing compared to a real terrorist attack. This week we got hit with a computer worm that took down plenty of computer systems, and a blackout that knocked out large sections of the east coast – and no one’s panicking. No one’s going crazy about it. We’re getting everything fixed and going back to work. An inconvenience? Yes. The end of the world? Not at all. Yet, people still take these stories and blow them out of proportion. Already some are trying to turn the power outage into a reason why we need better cybersecurity, and the Washington Post is jumping to conclusions about how we’re all at so much risk from a cyber attack. How they piece the two together suggests they’re just looking for anything to write an article saying we’re at risk from a cyber attack. Hasn’t anyone noticed that nothing particularly terrible happened, despite both of these events?

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