Saturday, 27 March 2010

It's Funny, Is It, Young Cyberpuppy?

I know something important when I stumble across it.  I know something else when I see it - a journalist trying to make themselves sound all cool and trendy by mildly taking the piss out of an important issue.  "Cyber" is a scare term?  Well that's all well and good, but in actual fact I think we do need to be scared about threats to the Internet.  (And yeah - I capitalise it.  So what?)  Because the attacks are not going to go away just cos you laugh at them.

I'm just thinking about myself to begin with.  I keep in contact with people on Facebook, Skype, email, a range of chat protocols, and through their blogs and mine.  I don't buy a dead-trees newspaper nor any magazines in that same medium.  My phonebook is either in the memory of my phones and VOIP programs, or else is an online site - I refuse a physical phonebook every time I catch the delivery people, which so far has been every year for ten years.  On a trivial note, I even get my TV guide online rather than in printed form.

The list goes beyond that of course.  My electricity utility has control and billing computers, some track where to shunt power at particular times of demand, some track how much of that power went to me and then bills me for it and generates the order to shut my power off if it thinks I haven't paid.  And at least part of that system has a connection to the Internet and is a tempting target to mischief-makers and serious terrorists...

Ditto with my mobile phone - aside from being billed and routed as the above, it physically uses the same infrastructure as Internet traffic does.  Want to disable Australia's Internet?  Drop a few key routing installations.  Oh yeah and as a bonus also drop a sizeable chunk of the mobile phone network.

So I say to hell with your blase attitude, if I'm this reliant on Internet at 53, then you who has grown up knowing nothing but instant answers at your fingertips are sure as hell not going to cope if someone does perform an act of cyber-war...

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