Planes are grounded! The Stock Market is closed! The Sky is falling!!
With all the recent cyber attacks and computer glitches that seem to occur without hindrance, the news that United Airlines suspended flights today came as no great shock to anyone. Beginning at 8AM United officials issued a statement indicating that “We are recovering from a network connectivity issue this morning and restoring regular flight operations.” However…only hours later the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading and officials there also noted ‘computer glitches’ as the cause. That immediately started speculation as to if the US was under a cyber attack. If you were tuned into the major news channels, you had to notice the frenzy as story followed story and speculation followed rumor upon rumor.
There are those that will quickly jump to the conclusion that a massive cyber attack is underway. There are also those who will simply say that this is all a great big coincidence. Right now, it is too early to say as the investigations into these related or…unrelated…events is underway. Once officials sift through all the evidence speculation will end and we will know the facts.
We also have to keep these facts in mind as well. Our national cyber systems are vulnerable to cyber attack and that includes our critical infrastructure. Those with malicious intent, including state sponsored hackers, are constantly probing our systems, seeking weaknesses, and ‘mining’ for information they can use to gain some advantage as well as for future activities. Right now we seem powerless to stop these advanced persistent attacks. We eventually notice something is amiss with software such as “Einstein” or a more common HIDs or NIDs installation and take action…after the damage is done.
So…recognizing that we are vulnerable, we can look at today’s events and hope that the sky isn’t falling….but we do need to heed ‘Chicken Little’s’ warning because someday it just might do that…