Documentary Series [in development]
Cyber security incidents and getting hacked seem like distant, fascinating things where other people get hurt, but you stay safe. Truth is, getting hacked or scammed can happen to anyone and it might even have happened to you in the past. The average number of devices used by you and most people have increased exponentially in the recent years.
We’re surrounded by IoT devices, wear smart bracelets, have friends who are betting their savings on cryptocurrency, and we sign up to dozens of social media platforms. This means cyber attacks have a lot of ways to get to you – either by targeting you specifically or by simply compromising your info in large-scale attacks.
Although our society may not currently recognize how much of our world is centred in technology, the truth is that nearly every aspect of our lives revolves around some sort of modern tech. From our jobs and finances all the way to our personal lives and social interactions, technology can be found everywhere, and, although this means that our world is on its way to a fully digital future, there are still various risks that this accessibility poses.
Since the mid-2000s, cyberattacks have become dramatically more sophisticated. Cybercrime costs the global economy between US$375 billion and $575 billion each year. Unfortunately for law-enforcement agencies, tracing the structure of this underground economy rarely helps them to arrest the individuals involved; real-world identities tend to be closely guarded behind online pseudonyms. And in any case, the criminal cyber infrastructure is remarkably resilient.
In five years’ time, the battle to keep data secure against cyber-attacks will descend into a “machine on machine war” with the advancement of artificial intelligence. Attacks would become more sophisticated as hackers made use of semi-autonomous technology.
There is a definite risk that we are at the early stages of a cyberwar arms race: as countries realize that having a cyberwarfare strategy is necessary they will increase spending and start to stockpile weapons, just like any other arms race. Nations are rapidly building cyberdefence and offense capabilities and NATO in 2014 took the important step of confirming that a cyberattack on one of its members would be enough to allow them to invoke Article 5, the collective defence mechanism at the heart of the alliance. In 2016 it then defined cyberspace as an “operational domain” — an area in which conflict can occur: the internet had officially become a battlefield.