Y2K & Cyberterrorism

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Suppose for a minute that you are a cyberterrorist determined to bring the United States to its digital knees. My question is this: When would you strike?

-- Ken Davis (kendavis@lookingglass.net), August 02, 1998


Anytime they are able to do it.

-- Bardou (bardou@baloney.com), August 03, 1998.

If cyberterrorist's could play havoc with the nations inferstructure they would have done so already. Some cyberterrorist articles have the nerve to state that the terrorist's will all attack on 12/31/99. If they could do it, it would have been done already.

This term, cyberterrorism, started to pop up around the time Y2K started to make mainstream press. I think it is funny, the very thing these cyberterrorist's are going to unleash upon us it the very thing many people were saying about Y2K for years. Funny the way that worked out.

Feed the monster, can someone say "MISINFORMATION".


-- j (yada@yada.com), August 03, 1998.

As an answer to my own question, I suspect that such a cyberterrorist would strike on or around Jan. 1, 2000. The reason for this timing is that it should be rather difficult for security software to distinquish between a legitimate Y2K patch and a bomb set to go off on Y2K. A first-order, legitimate patch would have a line of code that basically says, "If the year is 00 then branch to a subroutine and return." The entry into the cyberterrorist's hack would have this same instruction; however it would lead to a segment of code designed to wreck havoc with the system.

A CIA spokesman tangentially alluded to this problem recently in testimony before a Congressional committee. His concern seemed to be that US companies, because of the shortage of qualified programmers, have resorted to hiring many thousands of foriegn techs. This means that much of the source code upon which our companies rely, has been disseminated across the globe. Are we gullible enough to believe that none of this souce code has fallen into the hands of individuals and organizations which wish us ill? Source code is like candy to a cyberterrorist.

Maybe I am being paranoid. I hope so. Maybe Y2K will be just a minor bump in the road. Again, I hope so.

-- Ken Davis (kendavis@lookingglass.net), August 03, 1998.


Don't take my previous answer the wrong way. Are there individules out there that would love to drop the cyber hammer on us, yes. I really think if they could they would.

I you could gain access to some mythical computer that controlled all power distribution in the US, you had better take advantage of the window or it would most likely be closed on you.


-- j (yada@yada.com), August 03, 1998.

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