GCHQ have just published an interesting article regarding the threat of Cyber attacks being just as serious as terrorism. Having worked with companies that have been subjected to various types of Cyber attack I can tell you that they do indeed feel the subject of terrorism. As a whole the UK is pretty much completely dependent on the internet and we'd find it extremely difficult to function without access. Just think about it, lets imagine a general internet access failure for a moment - Cashpoints rely on internet access to communicate with your bank. 5 years ago if the cashpoint was down we'd just go into the bank but nowadays bank branches are getting harder and harder to find. Because cashpoints are so reliable we expect to be always to find one so generally don't make the effort to access a cashpoint during banking hours anyway. If they're down though then no cash. Payment cards would also be non operational as vendors would have no way of carrying out a transaction. Telephone providers also rely on internet access so a good section of the mobile telephone network (if not all) would also be off line. Even land lines (when you can find a public telephone box) rely on voice over IP so no joy there either. The result of a serious attack could mean no ability to access cash (even attending a branch wouldn't help - they also use the internet) and cards would be useless along with telephones. Horrific..
One of the best methods to achieve something like this would be a distributed denial of service attack. These attacks require the infection of thousands of computers with a simple virus. This is partly why the government is pushing for all end users to at least comply with a minimum security standard.
It's always worth taking a few moments to think about your home and business setup to ensure you're up to scratch and if you don't know or are unsure then ask..
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