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image courtesy of fellowship of minds

That is, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

A concerted and coordinated attack, and done in the midst of another disaster [i.e. when emergency systems are cracked and taken down during massive flooding], can lead to a disaster in magnitude proportions. This is the reason why, according to this report

“Governments are increasingly emphasizing the importance of cyber security. For instance, the United States is preparing for cyber conflict and has launched its own military cyber command. Britain last October rated cyber attacks as one of the top external threats, promising to spend an extra 650 million pounds ($1 billion) on the issue.”

However,  a true “cyberwar” is unlikely to happen, according to OECD, because “many critical systems were well protected and the effects of attacks were difficult to predict, and so could backfire on the assailants”.

This was disputed though by Telecom TV One cyber analysts because “the report is redolent with ivory tower academic dissociation from the real world”. Quoting the UK internet security specialist, MWR InfoSecurity, “the OECD report will do little more than encourage complacency”. The article also said

As Sun Tzu, the military theoretician and strategist extraordinaire of ancient China, wrote in his seminal work “The Art of War”, “The skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.”

That’s as true now as it was when it was written thousands of years ago. Back in the mid-20th century the Neutron Bomb was designed and built to kill people whilst leaving much of a enemy’s infrastructure as intact as possible for exploitation later by occupying forces. Time and technology moves on. Now the same strategic effect can be achieved by conducting electronic and cyberwarfare to cause economic devastation, neutralse military responses and bring nations to their knees.

One of the reasons why I embarked on the web safety advocacy in the Philippines is, because of the “risks” involve. PH may still have a lower internet penetration rate but, [1] it is bound to  grow and [2] by being proactive, prevention is always a better alternative.

BTW, You can download a PDF copy of the OECD report here