Five security disasters to shake the world

In the world of cyber security, disasters are no longer science fiction but a terrifying reality. We look at five of the most serious threats facing the world today.

Ever see the film The Net starring Sandra Bullock? No? Well, it was fairly terrible but it did highlight the capabilities of the hacker (SPOILER ALERT).

In it one of the central character's friends, an oddly attractive computer expert, is riding around in a helicopter and for whatever reason he is unable to physically see what is in front of him. He therefore relies on technology to guide the way. Unfortunately for him, the helicopter's navigation systems had been compromised and he flies right into a building and goes up in a ball of flames. Ouch.

Advertisement - Article continues below

To our knowledge, nothing like this has emerged in the corporeal world just yet, but given where transport is heading, there is serious cause for concern.

There are a number of projects underway right now, where companies are designing and testing auto-driving cars via satellites and sensors in roads. If a hacker could gain control over a satellite and access the vehicle's systems, they could control the cars and potentially drive them off of the road.

For terrorist groups, this could be an attractive prospect. Not only could they target innocent civilians, they could go after politically more important individuals such as Government officials or the Royal Family.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Then there is the potential for aeroplane control, as well as other transportation types. The world has seen plenty of hijacks in the past, so it would be no surprise if terrorists used computers to do exactly the same, without even being on board.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Cyber assassination

While in the above case lives could be taken on a wide scale due to a cyber attack, singular assassinations are also a danger.

Again in The Net (still haven't seen it?) the determined and (again) oddly attractive gang of cyber criminals manage to hack into hospital records and change the details of another one of Bullock's unfortunate pals, who tragically expires as well.

Evidently The Net's writers weren't as prescient as they might have been. Amazingly, something even more extreme is thought to have happened. Last month, a report from the Daily Sun Voice of the Nation claimed a mob boss in Italy had been bumped off by a gang of hackers.

The mafia head had been shot but not killed before being rushed to hospital, the report suggested. But on the same night, hackers broke into the hospital computer systems and changed the injured party's medication so he would receive a lethal dose of medicine. Once the murder had been carried out, the cyber criminals covered their tracks by changing the medical details back to what they were. An innocent nurse was subsequently blamed for the mistake.

Given the various laxities seen in the NHS in recent times, with data being lost on more than one occasion, could the UK's hospitals be open to more serious cyber attacks, threatening patients themselves?

Featured Resources

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Remote working 2020: Advantages and challenges

Discover how to overcome remote working challenges

Download now

Keep your data available with snapshot technology

Synology’s solution to your data protection problem

Download now

After the lockdown - reinventing the way your business works

Your guide to ensuring business continuity, no matter the crisis

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?
operating systems

How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?

3 Aug 2020