Cyber-attacking was initiated in 2009 when the Americans and Israelis created the Stuxnet program which infiltrated Iranian computer systems and wrecked thousands of uranium-enriching centrifuges.
Now the world experts in remotely using computer networks to destroy infrastructure and threaten human lives are the Russians and Chinese.
This is not old-fashioned, relatively low-tech data hacks that make most headlines such as the high-profile break-ins over the last 12 months to the email systems and databases of the White House, State Department, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Target and Sony Pictures Inc.
Instead we are talking about the new and dangerous world of cyber-to-physical infrastructure attacks. It nearly happened in the United States when unknown hackers succeeded in penetrating U.S. electrical, water and fuel distribution systems early in 2014.
According to a report by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security, hackers recently succeeded in causing a blast furnace melt-down in an unnamed industrial city in Germany after a digital attack on its control systems, causing “massive damage.” Is this a sign of things to come?