Cyber cold war a threat to all

Governments worldwide are preparing for an increase in attacks on crucial services, writes Conrad Walters.First the mobile fails. Intermittent black spots are nothing new but you haven’t had so much as an SMS from motormouth Michael in hours or anything from Jen who always calls with arrangements for Tuesday’s movie by now.You resign yourself to catching up on email and the frustrations mount with each minute on an unresponsive computer. Has the whole world stopped?You resist the urge to slam the door as you head to the nearest ATM and the walk does you good … until you key in your pin number. The machine is so sluggish it seems to take forever but eventually the screen responds. The news is worse than you thought. Your balance is: $0. It’s as worrying as it is wrong. No mobile, no mail, no money.You want to throw your hands in the air – and surrender is a more appropriate response than you suspect. You’ve lost a war you didn’t even know was being waged.The war of the future, according to an international look into cyber crime, could well be waged online. And the dangers are magnifying as governments and organised groups hone their abilities to spy on each other and attack critical pieces of public infrastructure with an arsenal of e-weapons.

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