LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Today’s “computer glitches” in China, New York, and for United Airlines is sparking concern that the Western world is about to become embroiled in a cyber war the type not yet seen since the advent of network computing.
Analysts have already noted the influx of Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks emanating from China, aimed at St. Louis, Missouri. The relevance of the choice of city is debatable, but there are, apparently, many corporate serves based in the area, as well as being an HQ for cyber security firm NORSE, which is rumoured to host “dummy targets” in the area, attracting attention from foreign hackers.
But the attacks, rudimentary as they are, could easily bring down U.S. corporates and government infrastructure which have struggled to keep up with the millions of computers attached to Chinese botnets (networks of ‘zombie’ computers) which are linked to the attacks.
“After a series of cyber failures involving first UAL, then this website, then the NYSE which is still halted, then the WSJ, some have suggested that this could be a concerted cyber attack (perhaps by retaliatory China unhappy its stocks are plunging) focusing on the US. So we decided to look at a real-time cyber attack map courtesy of Norsecorp which provides real time visibility into global cyber attacks.
“What clearly stands out is that for some reason Chinese DDOS attacks/hackers seem to be focusing on St. Louis this morning.”
What all this may hinge upon is Greek’s recent referendum. Not necessarily the prime mover, but the spark that lit the fuse — the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of our time.
When it became clear that Greece wasn’t going to abide by the wishes of the European and American creditors and markets, the doorway opened to Russia and China, who could well plough money into Greece and effectively make it their aircraft carrier, or Dubai, in Europe.
Perhaps this spooked the West, given that Chinese markets initially rose, while the rest of Asia fell, on Monday. Our governments aren’t likely to have taken the news lying down, and — without wanting to stray into conspiracy theory — could have set out to harm the Chinese markets, reflected in their technical glitches yesterday.
This would have inevitably brought a retaliatory attack from China, manifesting itself in the targeting of core infrastructure like airlines and the New York Stock Exchange.
Of course, it’s all just theoretical at the moment, given that no answers are yet being given over the “glitches”. But it’s not outside the realms of possibility, and if it’s true, the doomsayers of the Greek referendum may have been underestimating the knock on effect from last weekend’s vote: more concerned about the Euro than global geopolitical, and cyber security implications.