The cyber war has begun and your computer is also involved

The Cyber War Has Begun And Your Computer Is Also

A digital pearl harbor that completely flattens the country. No smartphone, no internet, no food! Due to some digital tampering of our computer system, it caused an overall panic. And whether we depend on it.

You go home, work hard, and go hungry. Fortunately, pork chops are already prepared in the refrigerator. You open the refrigerator, but the light is out. How strange. Well, you will look at it later. For potatoes, put some water on them. However, after the water flows pitifully and then splashes from the tap, the water seems to have run out. What is happening here, you start to feel a little impatient. In any case, the water still drips from the tap, and the potatoes are in the water. On the stove. Now your lump is broken. Your beautiful five-burner electric stove is obviously broken. Why just now? You just want to eat, do you ask too much? Then call us. You take out the phone, it is completely empty. When you want to charge, there seems to be no electricity at all. Bang bang bang. Someone is knocking on your front door. Your neighbor is completely panicked. She had another pocket radio in the attic, just listening to what happened.

Cyber ​​war has broken out. The virus has invalidated all digitized functions. When our smartphone crashes, we have become “crazy”, let alone no longer use any digital devices. Don’t watch TV and play old-fashioned games on the table after dinner. sounds good. But food sources have also been shut down. Nowadays, even milking cows can be done with digital equipment. And try to catch it on fire and then deep-fry it without adding oil or butter. Panic strikes and people will compete for the necessities of life. No one will be safe anymore, because our survival instinct has taken over the world, and the developed society is in ruins. There are no surveillance cameras, no money (at least no value), and no way of transportation faster than bicycles. What else can you do? Go to work? Does this make sense?

What is cyber war?

“A true cyber war is when two countries fight each other with digital weapons that destroy, disrupt or physically destroy computer systems and network functions.”

Not science fiction
In other words, a cyber war. But this can’t happen to us, right? Doesn’t that only happen in science fiction movies? However it is possible. This is what Albert Benschop stated in his “Network World”. The United States, perhaps the most powerful country in the world, will not even be attacked by centralized and coordinated, destructive and destructive attacks that require only digital resources. Digital viruses and worms will also completely shut down the infrastructure here. Albert Benschop explained in his book what would happen and made it clear why we are so vulnerable. How can it be hacked? Who would do such a thing? Are we already in war or can we still prevent cyber disasters?

Everything can be hacked
The technological level of our computers and mobile devices has a major drawback: As the devices become more complex, the risks increase. Benschop said: “Malware always exploits software and hardware vulnerabilities.” For example, it is possible to damage computers by remotely tampering with cooling equipment. As the device becomes more complex, the device will get more lines of code. This also means that the number of errors and software defects may increase. “You should always protect devices with multiple functions. But attackers only need to find one weakness.” Benschop said that most smartphones today do not have any protection.

Photo: Miria Grunick

Our phone
Benschop talked about the equipment he can buy via the Internet. When he puts it on his cell phone, it becomes a broadcasting pole for his surroundings. He can take over the phone completely, for example by turning on the voice and tapping, turning on the camera and monitoring the owner, and when the owner uses mobile internet banking, he/she can access his/her bank account. “And all of us have such highly personalized equipment.” Except for phones, everything with an IP number can be cracked, such as cars, refrigerators, internal insulin pumps and pacemakers. “New opportunities are also new risks,” Benshoop said.

Network Millennium

“Those who provide cyber defenses and attack cyber weapons.”

Who would do such a thing
It is relatively easy to find out what the virus does. Finding out the reason behind is another matter.​​​ “It is usually said that it comes from China, but if it comes from China, it does not mean that there are Chinese behind it.” The virus is spreading all over the world. From one computer to another, it is difficult to trace its true source. It is very different from a visible army that crosses the border with a visible tank. “So, you must first find out which direction this attack comes from.”

Wet Van Murphy
A person with a malicious education can completely destroy a country with a little education. Just imagine what happens when the financial stock market is hit by a computer virus. Is there anyone who wants and can do it? According to Benshop, we should assume this. He quoted Murphy’s law: “Anything that can go wrong will eventually go wrong.” Cyber ​​crime is on the rise, and countries are forming cyber armies. According to the latest statistics from McAfee (a company dedicated to computer and network security), there are currently 100 million malicious viruses circulating, and this number is still increasing. Benskop said: “This shows how much effort is needed to create a malicious virus.”

The war has begun

No one talks about this, but the Netherlands has also established a cyber force responsible for manufacturing offensive cyber weapons. This requires a lot of time and money. Benschop said: “The investment in the cyber army has been institutionalized through government backup, otherwise you will never be able to do it.” At that time, we had no direct war situation. The international frictions that have been happening for many years can quickly get out of control. Under what circumstances can weapons be used, and under what circumstances cannot use cyber weapons: no discussion. “The Netherlands has a huge democracy deficit. We are preparing for a cyber war, but the military has no instructions to maintain the boundaries of war.”

When you are under attack and know its source, you must be able to fight back. Therefore, a cyber army is needed as a defense. Obama publicly stated that if the United States is substantively attacked by cyber means, it will be regarded as an act of war and will be retaliated against. Not only have cyber weapons, but also airplanes and bombs. “So it can be expected to respond to this. The author said that Iran has its own cyber department and has been attacking financial institutions engaged in espionage and sabotage for a long time. According to him, the war has already begun and is invisible. Formal warfare is becoming more and more important. We are becoming more and more dependent, and at the same time, it is very difficult to defend ourselves: the Internet is unlimited, and attacks will never come from any side. “First, many computers are infected and become “zombies.” Attacks can be launched through these computers (ie, botnets).

Network disaster
The last chapter of Ben Schop’s book shows step by step what would happen in our little frog country if a hostile country “aggresses” all possible cyber weapons at the same time. This became a nightmare, because everything we took for granted suddenly became weird and didn’t even work anymore. In fact, defense is impossible because everything seems to be digital and therefore uncontrollable.

Photography: David Smith

Step by step
The first is that the power outage bothers us. The payment flow dropped and the bank was looted. Result: Crowds flooded into ATMs and the store was ransacked. The electronic bomb detonated ABN AMRO’s computers and backup systems. just? It disappeared. Air traffic and public transportation have stagnated. Communication is no longer possible. The industrial production system no longer functions. Tampering with the gas pressure setting in the pipeline can cause gas explosion. The embankment is uncontrollable. receive help? No, of course emergency services are not available. In short: all computer systems and infrastructure will disappear. This is not unrealistic, because the basis of this situation is only actions that have already been taken, and in principle make cyber disasters truly possible. The only “missing” is the actor who achieved this goal. The purpose of the script is not to panic like the horror scene in the movie “Difficult to Die.” This is to make us think. “Without a bullet, without a soldier in our territory, we can take the entire country into the hands of the Philistines.”


If the author decides, we will be fully prepared to eliminate risks. “Citizens, companies and governments must develop strategic plans to defend against these types of attacks, how to establish alternatives, especially actions that should be taken when the time is right.” The agreement must set limits and specify areas that should never be attacked. Such as hospitals, electricity or water supply networks. Many cyber weapons are indistinguishable and just skip. They are “non-target” weapons, like nuclear weapons, they can destroy all objects within a certain radius. Other viruses have also been specially manufactured, such as the Stuxnet virus tailored to control Siemens equipment in uranium enrichment plants. Benschop explained: “The same weapon can also be used on other networks.”

How can we prevent this?
Making software simpler or disrupting international networks will provide solutions. Only this is impossible. “Then we can’t do work anymore. So there is no turning back.” Benschop doesn’t know if there will be a cyber disaster in the future. He certainly hopes not, but he realizes that we have become extremely vulnerable. This is what the author wants to clearly point out in his book: Because of our dependence on numbers, we become so vulnerable. Our loopholes are not easy to solve. “As you can see from the massive increase in forms of cyber crime and cyber warfare, this requires a lot of investment. Few people can build something as complicated as the Stuxnet virus. Once there, others can handle it.” Just add a little twist. , Imitators can do terrible things.

His conclusion is that the Internet must be safer and more free. Giving up our freedom and privacy is not the answer. “It is not even technically possible to completely eliminate the anonymity of the Internet. Moreover, the state will be able to use your private life at any time.” In short, according to Bensop, we are better than investing in F16 to invest in a cyber army . Cyber ​​war is a new type of war. It is not in Farawayistan, but it is actually on our skin. People don’t know part of it anymore, and only notice side effects such as bank robbery and ineffectiveness. “Before you know it has been attacked, it will be too late.”

The book “Network War” will be published next week. curious? You can book here!