Cyber Warfare: How safe is your computer?

CRIMINALS SPIES, HACKERS AND VIRUSES: HOW THE BATTLES OF THE FUTURE WILL BE FOUGHT ACROSS THE INTERNET

The world is in the grip of a new age of conflict. Where once ships, planes, tanks and soldiers did battle to further the goals of their own nations, now sophisticated cyber attacks are the new weapons of choice. Countries are using hackers to target power grids, financial markets and government computer systems of rival nations, all with potential results that are every bit as devastating as any bullet or bomb.

The idea of using tech to pilfer information goes back a long way, as far back as 1834, in fact, with two French brothers – the Blanc brothers – who used to earn a living trading in government bonds.

They found a way to get ahead of the competition by bribing a telegraph operator
to include deliberate mistakes in messages being transmitted from Paris. This let them get a heads up on financial deals before anyone else did. But as technology got more sophisticated, so did the crimes the crooks were capable of pulling off. However, …


This article was originally published in How It Works issue 136, written by Mark Smith


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