The internet isn’t just about finding resources to do your homework with. It’s also not just about advertising your business and sending out joke emails to your friends and family. The internet is a communication tool. Whether you’re sending out a casual email that says hello, or an email with highly sensitive information about your next business strategy, we use online resources to communicate quickly and efficiently with the people in our world. Sadly, the same holds true for those in a position to declare or break peace with other countries, and possibly other cities. While we may think of war as the act military advances against others, these attacks could also occur online. Cyber warfare isn’t regarded as much of a threat since people don’t think anyone could actually be hurt from it. Remember, everything that we do on a daily basis, from turning on lights to pumping gas, is somehow being tracked and is connected to the world wide web.
Cyber warfare is the act of communicatively attacking another connected resource for the purposes of shutting it down, similar to one country’s military attacking another, to shut them down. You can also use cyber warfare to change or update information, as well as steal classified information from other resources.
The most dangerous part of cyber warfare would be using to shut down major resources, such as nuclear power plants, local energy companies. Imagine being able to put a major city into complete blackout with the click of a mouse, or simply shutting down a town’s water supply with the push of a button. Without using major resources of your own, you could essentially send a city or country into turmoil. Another form of cyber warfare is the process of stealing sensitive or top secret information from an organization. Imagine if a country was able to get their hands on another country’s technology that is in the making, and beat them to the punch of development. Perhaps there’s a future space race. One country may simply steal the next great space shuttle design right out of someone’s inbox.
While cyber warfare does have its potential causes for disaster, it doesn’t have the ability to cause direct personal harm. What it can do is contribute to the possible effect of people of a society causing harm on each other through panic. Thankfully, our systems are generally protected by literally impenetrable security features within software…for now.