Cyberterrorism

Cyberterrorism is in the news so I thought I’d share this little story with you.

A year or two ago I was at a dinner of the Great and the Good. I sat next to an Ambassador. We chatted broadly about the threats facing the world: Terrorism (I said it could be much worse if terrorists had any imagination); Finance (there will be another crisis unless governments bite the bullet and simplify); Viruses/pandemics (a big one eventually but not for a while); etc. My general theme being the Global Village, everything being linked, no more survival of the fittest since there is in effect only one organism, etc. I dismissed global warming on the grounds that there are many threats with much shorter timescales. I also threw in a few left-field suggestions such as a world in which half the population spends all its disposable income on health insurance thanks to a poor result in a genetic test.

And then I mentioned cyberterrorism. Many people downplay this, citing firewalls, encryption, etc. and saying that governments have better ways of causing trouble. But this underestimates the human role in setting up such firewalls, encryption, etc. and ignores the role of the lone hacker with a grudge or a mental problem, there doesn’t need to be any government sponsorship.

The Ambassador said he wasn’t worried. He then gave the unfortunate example of flight. “If computers went down my plane ticket could very easily be printed out the old-fashioned way,” he said. I asked if he would really feel safe flying when the plane’s computer went down. He stared at me for a few seconds with a confused look on his face. He then turned to the man on his other side and didn’t speak to me for the rest of the dinner.

P

Related Posts

Where Do You Keep Your Offshore Money? Where do you keep your offshore money? The media is all upset about celebs, politicians, etc. having money in various offshore places, in order to ...
Bloomberg View Columnist Barry Ritholtz Interviews... Listen to Barry Ritholtz interview Paul Wilmott about quantitative finance, mathematical modelling, reputational risk, Tom Cruise, JK Rowling, Billy J...
Boris Johnson, Yanis Varoufakis And Sir Vince Cabl... Boris Johnson, Yanis Varoufakis and Sir Vince Cable all have something in common…. All three have been in the news lately with their interpretation...
Webcast – Paul Wilmott On “The Money F... Paul recently gave a talk in downtown Manhattan about his new book, co-authored with David Orrell, The Money Formula. Other topics get dragged in alon...
Jeremy Corbyn: My Part In His Ascent First, disclosure: I am rather right wing, from the school of "take some of my income in taxes but otherwise leave me alone, please." And as a general...
The Money Formula – New Book By Paul Wilmott... The Money Formula: Dodgy Finance, Pseudo Science, and How Mathematicians Took Over the Markets OUT NOW!!! Buy Paul's Latest book NOW on Amazon! ...
Ed Thorp: A Man For All Markets The book we've been waiting for, the full story of Ed Thorp's career in mathematics, science, gambling, and finance. An inspiration for us mortals. ...
We have adjusted our estimate of Mark Carney’... In August The Bank of England forecast growth in the UK in  2017 to be 0.8%. They have now adjusted that forecast to 2%. That's a factor of 2.5....