Given the fact that the recent Stuxnet cyber attack, as compared with a current hacker-type cyber attack, is like comparing conventional weapons to nuclear weapons, are you at all concerned about this next phase of internet cyber attack and security?
Stuxnet was uniquely designed to target and attack specific hardware, apparently the type which exists in particular Siemens hardware that is being used by the Iranians in their nuclear development labs.
What if… the next Stuxnet type worm weapon is designed to target and cyber attack high Tier routers on the internet?
The internet is layered in Tiers, with Tier 1 consisting of very high end router links capable of moving massive amounts of traffic. Although the internet is structured in such a way to provide redundancy routes, who’s to say that a new generation cyber worm couldn’t take out enough key routers to crash parts (or most?) of the system networks.
Most of us living in the modern world rely on the internet backbone to survive, whether we realize it or not. Just about everything we do or buy depends on internet connectivity to somewhere.
When you pull into the gas station to fill the tank, 99 percent of us use our debit card (or some card) to make the transaction. In fact, think about it, how many of us use cash for anything anymore?
Sure, we walk around with a little pocket cash for incidentals, but, right now, open your wallet or purse, and count how much cash you have on hand at this moment. For most, I’ll bet its less than a hundred dollars (euros, pounds, etc…).
Today, its mostly all digital dollars, and digi-dollars don’t work without the internet.
Without the internet, your pocket money will have to get you through until the internet is back up again.
I wonder how many gas stations, grocery stores, or any type of store will have the ability to accept your cash if the internet network is down. How many of the “cash” registers today are networked and require internet connectivity back to headquarters before they will even operate and accept your transaction, even though it is a cash transaction?
When you start to really think about the possibilities of what might be affected by a downed internet, it gets rather alarming to say the least.
So, now that this gloom and doom scenario is pointed out, lets talk about a few of the good and preventive measures that can be taken before a major cyber attack.
Print hard copies of anything pertinent related to your finances. Print your latest bank statements, and write down your bank information including addresses and phone numbers.
Download and save statements, PDFs, anything that would serve as some form of proof.
Backup your important documents, files, and data to a portable hard drive, one which you only connect to your computer when you are doing the backup.
Think about the information that you rely on being at your fingertips simply by going out over the internet and getting it. If its important, download it, print it, or write it down.
You might want to consider investing in a decent home Safe, and keeping a comfortable amount of cash on hand, just in case. Maybe also a number of silver ounces? :)
Would be curious to hear from you Information Technology folks out there… Is it within the realm of possibilities that a hardware-targeted Stuxnet type worm could damage enough high level routers to bring the system down, or some degree of “down”?
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