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Cyber Warfare Is Coming To America: What Can We Expect?

Cyber-attacks could potentially cripple America for good!

CREDIT: Wiki Commons

CREDIT: Wiki Commons

President Obama signed an executive order back in June of 2011 that lay out the rules of cyber warfare against our enemies with attacks on their grid system and their defense system as possible targets. Recently Obama has also admitted to working with Israel on cyber-attacks against Iran.

It’s obvious the president sees the future benefits of cyber warfare but he is also ushering in an era where there is no return. But then, if he doesn’t and our nation doesn’t take the initiative, another nation will and we could be its victim, and which we have already.

Many Americans are really not all that concerned about cyber warfare and what that could mean. They’re more worried about the possibility of a terror attack like what happened on 9/11 than computer hacking on a high level. What most Americans don’t realize is the potential of a crisis beyond any measure we’ve seen before in this country.

Here are just some of the horrific events that could occur because of a cyber-attack:

We could lose a large portion of our power grid – imagine for example, the whole Eastern Seaboard wiped out – which could take weeks if not months to recover from. A huge portion of the nation would be without electrical power except those with generators. Many of us know what it’s like to even go a few days without power and the loss of food kept in refrigeration and with all the other comforts of life, and for most their heating and air conditioning, consider weeks and even months without electrical power.

If the power grid went down across this nation, it would also shut down businesses, traffic lights, subway systems, Airports, city water systems, which depend on power along with a long list of services that we take for granted that would literally shut down.

Our financial system could be attacked and the banking system put in higher jeopardy than it was during the Great Recession. Not only could it threaten the very fiber of our economy but it could devastate millions of families’ financial security.

Personal accounts could be wiped out across the nation and our stock market could crash more severely than it ever has. All of this could lead to massive unemployment and this nation could go so far deep in a hole that our credit rating could fall several tiers and we would no longer be considered the “Land of Opportunity”, more like the “Land of Broken Dreams”. Our way of life could change dramatically and most of us would have to learn to live with a lot less.

Then there’s national security. Our nation could be rendered defenseless if hackers were able to hack deep enough into our national security system that relies so much on data stored online. Our nuclear weapon system could be overridden and within hours our nation could be facing a nuclear war that we could only imagine in our worst nightmares. America could come to an end to what it is now and millions of American’s lives could be ended.

The worse scenario would be a multi-pronged attack against our power grid, our financial system and our national security system and possibly more. That kind of attack would destroy us as a nation.

We now put so much reliance on the Internet and all the benefits it has brought us. There are so many things that go on around us that help keep our lives comfortable and safe that we don’t even see, but they’re there and we all depend on them. If all of those things came to a halt because of a cyber-attack on our country, we would definitely feel the effects in our daily lives in a very real and life-changing way.

Cyber warfare is just in its beginning stage – the more this country and the world grow more dependent on our technology to take care of so many aspects of our lives, the more vulnerable we will become.

How do we stop it? I don’t have the answer for that and I don’t think anyone does. I also don’t believe it’s something we should spend too much time worrying about. It’s obvious from what we’ve learned that hackers find ways around web security no matter how tight. We can only hope that our nation is out in front, which by Obama’s actions as president to act aggressively and opportunistically toward being a step ahead in cyber warfare, we have a fighting chance at doing just that.

Maybe the day will come that a security program will be designed that’s infallible and finally cyber security will no longer be a problem. But until then, we as a nation and the world will face our enemies on another battle front called cyberspace.

 

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by Katie Kieffer

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