The future of cyberwar: really, really irritating

by Toby Manhire / 03 September, 2013
The Syrian Electronic Army's tactics are a sign of what's to come in cyberattacks - more annoying than catastrophic.
Joshua Keating has seen the future of cyberwar, and it’s really annoying.

Recent attacks by the self-styled “Syrian Electronic Army” on the New York Times and Twitter, which temporarily disrupted access to parts of both, are a sign of things to come, reckons the Slate staff writer.

As is the mysterious denial-of-service assault on China’s .cn domain, which some think is linked to the controversial trial there of former governor Bo Xilai.

Such salvos, bringing disruption and inconvenience, are likely to be far more commonplace than the much feared “attacks on critical systems” such as electrical grids or nuclear plants.

(When it comes to the US electricity grid the great worry isn't any nefarious outside force but squirrels, according to this entertaining New York Times essay.)

The likes of the Stuxnet worm that invaded Iranian nuclear facilities is not to be laughed off, but it will be the exception, says Keating.

“The cyberwars of the future could take us to some very dark places, but on a day-to-day basis they’ll mainly just be irritating.”

See also: "Cyber-terror", the shark week of defence rhetoric

Yah-boo Stuxnet

 
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

The troubling rise of Australia's new Attorney-General
85835 2018-01-17 00:00:00Z World

The troubling rise of Australia's new Attorney-Gen…

by Bernard Lagan

The relatively young Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter has a track record in law and order that unsettles many.

Read more
The film-maker who risked death by sugar is fighting fit again
85890 2018-01-17 00:00:00Z Health

The film-maker who risked death by sugar is fighti…

by Nicky Pellegrino

For his documentary That Sugar Film, Damon Gameau consumed 40 teaspoons of the sweet stuff a day.

Read more
Auckland's best cafes 2018
84457 2018-01-17 00:00:00Z Dining

Auckland's best cafes 2018

by Metro

A swarm of new entrants elbow their way onto Metro's annual list of outstanding places for coffee and so much more.

Read more
Does anyone really know how to cut the number of deaths on our roads?
85708 2018-01-16 00:00:00Z Social issues

Does anyone really know how to cut the number of d…

by The Listener

The road toll for 2017 was 380 – 53 more than for 2016 and the highest figure since 2009.

Read more
How trauma incident data can be used to prevent future injuries
85876 2018-01-16 00:00:00Z Social issues

How trauma incident data can be used to prevent fu…

by Donna Chisholm

On a map are hundreds of brightly coloured dots, each colour signifying a type of incident: red for assault, cyan for motorbike crashes.

Read more
Donald Trump appears to have the wits of Homer Simpson
85895 2018-01-16 00:00:00Z World

Donald Trump appears to have the wits of Homer Sim…

by Bill Ralston

Trump may be “stable” and “smart”, but Americans need to decide whether to fire their leader.

Read more
The often-windswept Neil Oliver is headed indoors for a live NZ show
85873 2018-01-16 00:00:00Z Culture

The often-windswept Neil Oliver is headed indoors …

by Russell Baillie

Neil Oliver's live shows are based on a prolific career of making the past come alive on television and in print.

Read more
Hilary Barry takes Mike Hosking’s spot on Seven Sharp
85857 2018-01-15 13:40:27Z Television

Hilary Barry takes Mike Hosking’s spot on Seven Sh…

by Katie Parker

Hilary Barry takes over Seven Sharp and ex-Green candidate Hayley Holt replaces her on Breakfast. But not all are happy at the seat shuffling.

Read more