Cyber terrorists are probably going to target the UK and more specifically focus on something that will create chaos in the country. After the devastating incidents of Paris in November, many people fear that ISIS and other extremist attackers will not rest. Instead, they will keep on escalating things and spreading terror all over the world. As far as the United Kingdom is concerned, some claim that the Internet broadband network will be an easy target. However, when it comes to escalating and causing severe damage, the electric grid would be far more catastrophic!
Of course, the net would die even in the case of turning off the lights all over the country. Furthermore, cyber terrorists can carry out a successful attack against the power grid jeopardizing human lives. This is what the extremists are after, right? So, it makes total sense that the electric power would be a more suitable target for them. Either way, the attacks would demand well-planned strategies and perfect coordination.
James Blessing is the Chair of the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) and has commented on the possibility of cyber criminals to target the UK network. He said that there are multiple locations to target and these locations have been created to be kept impenetrable:
“These places are not unsecure, they are in highly-guarded locations that as a network engineer are a pain to get into. They are in high security buildings and there’s usually a perimeter fence that is well away from the building. You would have to have a seriously big truckful, you’re talking a load of fertiliser bigger than the IRA used to use.”
On the targeting issue, Mr. Hypponen is a Chief Research Officer at cyber security specialists F-Secure and has analyzed his point of view:
“The Islamic State has demonstrated that they have the most credible offensive cyber capability of any of the jihadist extremist movements, and even they are far away from having this level of operational skills in their disposal … Why bother toying around taking down the net if you could take down the electric grid?” Mikko Hypponed told to Cable.co.uk.
An example of resilience in the governmental infrastructure that ought to be taken into consideration is that of Estonia. Ever since 2007, the whole governmental infrastructure can immediately bounce to international servers and thus jeopardize any of the data. So, without being physically located in one place, people have managed to eliminate the risks of being targeted at a specific place.
In the light of such a growing need for protection online, Britain has announced £1.9bn funding within a period of five years to safeguard the country against cyber-attacks, as well as the creation of a National Cyber Centre in the coming year, 2016.
Ali Qamar is an Internet security research enthusiast who enjoys “deep” research to dig out modern discoveries in the security industry. He is the founder and chief editor at Security Gladiators, an ultimate source for cyber security. To be frank and honest, Ali started working online as a freelancer and still shares the knowledge for a living. He is passionate about sharing the knowledge with people, and always try to give only the best. Follow Ali on Twitter @AliQammar57
(Security Affairs – cyber terrorists, power grid)