Warfare and terrorism are changing dramatically in the 21st century, as evidenced by the latest SNAFU in California’s mass transit system.
Hacking, hackers, and cyber terrorists have been the talk of the globe for the last few years. Given that the world is becoming increasingly interconnected through the so-called “internet of things”, ingenious and nefarious communities in the dark corners of the world wide web have been cultivating chaos for profit.
In some cases, these attacks are as simple as ransomware, with the perpetrator preying on unsuspecting victims by offering to “unlock” your personal device after receiving $25 or $50. In other cases, however, the terrifying reality is that these same hackers have been able to infiltrate the systems we’ve installed to manage serious tasks, such as monitoring the levels of radiation surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site.
Now, California has fallen victim to these cyber terrorists, with mass transit commuters feeling the brunt of the attack.
“Sacramento Regional Transit is the one being taken for a ride on this night, by a computer hacker.
“That hacker forced RT to halt its operating systems that take credit card payments, and assigns buses and trains to their routes.
“The local transit agency alerted federal agents following an attack on their computers that riders may not have noticed Monday.
“’We actually had the hackers get into our system, and systematically start erasing programs and data,’ Deputy General Manager Mark Lonergan.
“Inside RT’s headquarters, computer systems were taken down after the hacker deleted 30 million files.
“The hacker also demanded a ransom in bitcoin, and a left a message on the RT website reading ‘I’m sorry to modify the home page, I’m good hacker, I just want to help you fix these vulnerability.’”
The battle for American efficacy could very well be taking place as we speak, right under our keyboards and noses.
Hackers also attempted to infiltrate the 2016 electoral process in states such as Georgia, where attacks were repelled and reported to authorities.
Cyber warfare has truly become the new frontier of crime, thanks to our overarching dependence on the internet in the modern world. Mass transit and personal computers are likely only the beginning as well, as military equipment and automated vehicles will also be considered vulnerable to such infiltration.