Another addition to SlimK1nd Documentaries.
Zero Days is a documentary by Alex Gibney. It deals with the development and deployment of the world’s first Digital Weapon (that we know of).
A Digital Weapon is very different from some random virus or hack. As the documentary states: there are 3 main types of “hacks”. 1.) Criminals, who want information, credit-card numbers, or want to destroy something, take out the mail-server, shut-down your account, whatever. Then there is 2.) Activists, or better “hacktivists”, people who use digital code/syntax to hack into things for political- and social reasons. And then finally 3.) “State-actors”. Governments either after information (intelligence), or … – as we shall see – to commit industrial sabotage.
One can argue that any virus, any code used in a hack, is a Digital Weapon.
I think that's missing the point.
A regular hack, or virus may wreck a system, or cause IT problems and damage. But it’s software that’s getting damaged. There may be hardware replacements required as part of the clean-up and counter-measures, but the hardware doesn’t explode or burn down.
A Digital Weapon is a piece of code that is specifically designed to cause damage inside industrial or corporate systems. If you can shut-down a region’s sewage system, or its water-purification facilities? There will be widespread disease and suffering. If you can shut down emergency medical communication services? People will not get any help when they are in danger, wounded or in distress.
And if you can make the rotors of an Iranian uranium-enrichment facility run too fast or too slow?
You can litterally monkey-wrench the machine.
A Digital Weapon is developed for sabotage.
It is then deployed in secret.
Once it reaches its target.
Whereas other “special” weapons (Nuclear, Chemical, Biological) are regulated under various treaties these weapons officially don’t exist. We know for a fact that the USA, Russia, China, North-Korea, Israel and Iran are working on these types of Digital Weapons, but it’s all classified and therefore denied or not spoken about. The Digital Weapons are not developed by regular weapons-manufacturers but by the various intelligence agencies themselves, making them even more secret than “normal” “special” weapons.
Edward Snowden revealed that he installed such sabotage-code in industrial systems while he was stationed in Japan.
“In case… one day… Japan is not an ally”.
This is cyber-warfare.
I say we need to be very concerned indeed.
A fellow-blogger from DailyFlix posted this great article.