We become a victim of cyber attacks all the time. You do not have to look further than this week’s Twitter virus. What about full-on cyber warfare? Recently the true potential of a destructive cyber attack became frighteningly clear: whole government, banking and military networks overloaded and shut down, vital data and money stolen, and even physical damage if the right components are targeted.
7. The Most Serious Breach
Target: U.S. military computer network
Attacker: “Foreign intelligence agency” (unspecified)
Damages: A cyber attack can come in any shape or size ,digitally or physically, and one of the worst on an American network happened in 2008. Did it involve thousands of zombie machines and the muscle of a national telecom giant? Nope, you could have held it in the palm of your own hand: a corrupt flash drive. Inserted into a military laptop in the Middle East & According to Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn:
“the malicious code on the drive created a digital beachhead, from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control.”
The attack acted as another reality check in security, and prompted the Pentagon to form a special cyber military command.
6. The Original Logic Bomb
Target: Siberian gas pipeline in Soviet Russia
Attacker: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Damages: One of the scariest implications of cyberwarfare is that the damage isn’t always limited to networks and systems. It can get physical, too. In 1982, the CIA showed just how dangerous can be a “Logic Bomb” which is a piece of code that changes the workings of a system and can cause it to go crazy. The agency caused a Soviet gas pipeline in Siberia to explode in what was described by an air force secretary as “the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space,” without using a missile or bomb, but a string of computer code.
Today, with the proliferation of computer control, the possible targets are virtually endless.