When most people think of a cyber-attack, they think of someone stealing data or something to that effect. The truth could not be farther from the truth. In today’s post, we are going to look at just what a Cyber-attack really is and how it could be potentially deadly for you and millions of People. This is the topic of today’s post, so grab a cup of coffee my friend and have a seat while we visit.
We have all heard on the news about data breaches where user’s information is stolen with the hope of monetary gain. Unfortunately, that is not the only form of Cyber-terrorism that we could face. Let’s start by looking at exactly what is a Cyber-attack. Dictionary.com defines a Cyber-attack as: ” attempts to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to a computer, computer system, or electronic communications network.” While this is a fair definition of a Cyber-attack, it really doesn’t do justice to the type of damage that can be done by a Cyber-attack. You see anything that is connected to the internet is subject to being hacked; however, there are targets that you probably never even thought of, such as your medical history or even the heart monitors and medical devices that some people wear. If someone were to alter your medical history and remove a list of medications that you may be allergic to or ever add that you are allergic to some major type of life saving drug, then a simple visit to a doctor or hospital could kill you. What’s more, many of these systems are really not monitored that closely and millions could die, before the breach was even noticed. Now that’s a scary thought! Anytime you are about to be given a new drug, you should always question what it is to be sure. Now just imagine all of the people who are attached to life saving equipment in a hospital, and what if suddenly they all quit working and couldn’t be turned back on or that IV machine beside your bed suddenly started pumping twice as much medicine into your body than it should? This is all within the realm of what Cyber attacks can do.
Other things to consider are that almost our entire world today is connected to the internet in some way or another. Heck, some of the new refrigerators are even connected to the internet as well. Our stores place their orders for food over the internet and if that were to suddenly stop working, stores could quickly run out of food. If the EBT (Food Stamps) system were to go down and not be able to be restarted, with inability to have access to buy food, we would see more riots and thefts than you could imagine. Millions of people depend on those EBT cards as their only source of food and are completely dependent on them. The banks are also dependent on the internet for verifying funds in accounts both locally and around the world and it is only a matter of time and terrorist will find a way to attack that system, if they haven’t already. No money, no food, no way to pay for gas or anything else until it can be fixed, if it ever can. Life as we know it would come to a screeching halt and millions of lives could be lost in less than a week, if these scenarios were to play out. Most of us Preppers are aware of these things and know that we need to prepare by stocking up on food and water, as well as medical supplies and cash. We have to be prepared for a world where everything we know comes to a halt overnight. While the world is in a panic, we will at least have prepared ourselves and are ready. A scary as this is, it is only the tip of the iceberg of Cyber-terrorism.
Our complete National infrastructure is wired up to the internet, if not directly, then indirectly. A Cyber-attack on our Power or Natural Gas Systems could also spell disaster for us and push us back into the dark ages for the most part. If it occurred in the winter, those with natural gas heating could find themselves with none and people would begin freezing to death. Just imagine if terrorists took over the controls of all of those systems. Power systems could be irreparably damaged and take years to repair. Gas and Oil pipelines could be over pressured and blown cause the deaths of many more. Without our power grid, nothing would work. Plants could not manufacture gas or diesel and soon the trucks would no longer be running. That would mean no water, no gas, no food, and no medications could be delivered and soon things would start to crumble in short order. As bad as this is, there are still worse things that they could do.
If cyber terrorist were to get hold of and control of our national missile defense system, in theory anyway, they could reprogram them to attack our own country or take them off-line leaving our country completely defenseless against an incoming attack. You may think that is impossible, but the truth is that a hacker by the name of Kevin Mitnick first received national attention in 1982, when he is claimed to have hacked into the North American Defense Command (NORAD). So, yes it can happen. I would like to think that NORAD has improved their security since that time, but the truth is that with more sophisticated computer systems, there are more holes for terrorist to exploit and it is only a matter of time before it happens again and the next time the results could be lethal for all of us. Now with more and more country’s creating their own Cyber Warfare divisions, then the threat is even greater than ever before and could change our world without a shot ever being fired! Literally overnight and not for the better. My point here, is that no matter how safe you may think you are, you will never truly be safe as long as there are those that have the knowledge and the will to cause us harm.
OK, so we are in constant imminent danger, but what can we do about it? This is the question that everyone should be asking their selves right about now. While there is no way to stop many of these, there are things we can do both now and in the future. First off, keep a paper copy of all of your medical records and important documents in a safe place. Always ask questions about any medications that you are given and be sure that the doctor is aware of any allergies that you may have. Don’t just assume that they know because they have what they think is your medical records. Keep plenty of extra cash, water, food and gas on hand at all times. Prepare for Nuclear confrontation, even if you don’t believe it will ever happen. The prevailing logic of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) does not come into play for a hacker who is in one country, while firing missiles from another, toward a third country. He will just sit back and let the smoke clear, while no one even suspects his country has anything to do with it. Watch the news and pay attention to what is going on in the world. Preparing for all of these scenarios is our best hope for both now and in the future.
Well, I hope I have given you something new to think about. Until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared. God Bless America!