Home > DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship, Propeller Venture Accelerator > First Cyber War in 2010? No more of a Cyber Skirmish

First Cyber War in 2010? No more of a Cyber Skirmish

So the mainstream press is full of articles today and yesterday as they analyse the continuing wikileaks streaming of sensitive information. What seems to be animating journalists the most is the Distributed Denial of Service attacks on various companies such as PayPal and credit card companies, in retaliation for their pulling of services to wikileaks.

So is this the first salvo in a cyber war? Not really. Attacks like these have been going on for years, and there are probably more attacks on national entities then we are made aware of, due to national security. This is more of a skirmish. But it is an escalation of such asymmetric warfare even if it is a loose coalition of activists calling itself ‘Anonymous’. Hacker culture has been around for a long time, even predating the move towards personal computing at the end of the Seventies.

Yes, coupled with the recent instigation of a worm to disable elements of Iran’s nuclear programme, and other attacks in recent years such as those on certain Baltic States, there is no doubt that cyber war on a large-scale is coming. A real cyber war in my mind is when it affects the everyday activities of citizens in the larger population.

It is somewhat disconcerting that elements of plotlines in dramas such as the BBC’s Spooks are starting to look more realistic these days. The idea that wholesale attacks on national infrastructure could potentially bring down air traffic control, power supply or all a city’s internal systems are worrying (at the same time).

As technology companies such as IBM and GE move towards more integrated systems of living, such as IBM’s Smart Cities work, the potential for large-scale disruption increases.

So what has that to do with entrepreneurship? Well, as usual problems lead to solutions, and there is no doubt that online security is probably going to enter a whole new dimension in the decades to come, from personal security to that of larger organisations and even Nation States. Far beyond the security industry, formidable as it is, that exists at the moment.

Opportunities are the mainstay of entrepreneurs, and although there may be plenty of ‘black hat’ programmers out there it is worth mentioning that being a ‘hacker’ denotes more an attitude then a designation. It depends on the colour of the hat. And plenty of white hat ones may find their future, and their fortune, giving society these solutions.

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