Tuesday, February 20, 2018

No title included

The Cyber Security Intrusions That Should Scare You Most
By Andrew Ramirez

What if I were to tell you that you could lose your house, water, or power for weeks if the critical infrastructure in your town was hit by a cyber-attack?
In recent news the United States government is establishing a new office of Cyber security, Energy Security, and Emergency Response through the US Department of Energy. You may be asking yourself well what does infrastructure have to deal with cyber security? You may not have heard, but in 2016 a dam in Rye Brooke, N.Y. was hacked into by Iranian hackers acting for the Iran Revolutionary Guard, a subset of the Iran military. This is  big deal in the grand scheme of things although the dam only had the power to really only flood a few basements, and a baseball Park. Activist across the globe are now capable of crippling critical infrastructure such as dams, power grids, etc causing extreme damage for little to no cost, while half way across the globe. This is very appealing to cyber actors, because the attacks on infrastructure render thousands  of individuals without power, water, or other basic necessities that support  foundation of our daily lives. In 2015 we witnessed the first major infrastructure attack on an electrical power grid when almost 200,000 Ukrainians were left without power for hours. There is no doubt that with the increase in successful attacks and frequency of attacks that this problem is much larger than most people perceive. It is no longer the case that just companies are hacked for their valuable information, instead these attack have become malicious in their intent to harm individuals, and can have militarized capabilities just as the dam in Rye Brooke was attacked Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps.
            In my opinion this was a very strategic move by the government. There is no doubt that the threat of cyber-attacks will play a major role in any future war. I am pleased that they are taking notice of an especially critical part of the daily lives of American citizens. Imagine if the Hoover Dam was had been hit by an attack, the immense release of the water would have tsunami like effects on the surrounding area, not only crippling the power structure supplied by the water, but also devastation the environment. It was even seen that hackers could alter the water treatment, flow, and chemical input in a water treatment plant. Many organization and agencies do not currently even have cyber security protocols in place, creating an opportunity to silently strike  with deadly results before the intrusion is even detected. For example, the Department of Transportation has no protocol which could lead to extreme consequences. The threat of cyber security attacks should no longer just share consumers of companies, but has now reached a level in which voters should take keen awareness to in future elections.

            Electrical and optical engineers in Australia made a discovery that could change the way we use communication based technology. They proposed the idea of replacing micro wave wireless networks with terahertz radiation. Terahertz have shorter wavelengths and higher bandwidth capacity for transmitting data. This means higher speed transmission potential, reduced power consumption, and efficiency in communication. This has the potential to create a stronger economy, but also hurt our health in the future.

            The author fails to talk about the economic implications of this discovery. The economy today relies on databased systems and sending information electronically. Most transactions today are all digital as well. This means that we must reduce the risk of failure in any way possible.  To change to terahertz would reduce the risk of failure of Wi-Fi communication through less power consumption and more efficient communication. This reduces the risk of overusing devices.  So much information travel digitally everyday like bank account transactions, private information stored on websites, and communication in supply chain management.  An economic depression from failed communication systems is not an option. 

            I wish the author would talk about the increase in economic output with terahertz. Having a faster Wi-Fi system would help the entirety of the global economy ideal. Factories will be able to speed up their production capabilities, quickly sending information across the country for production orders. People will be able to react faster, act accordingly, and increase their productivity in their work which will increase GNP. The reduction in power consumption will also decrease variable costs for many companies. This will allow them to make more profit. They could then potentially invest their money in more productive methods that will further increase the production potential of the economy. Although this is possible, what are the risks in using this new technology?

            The author briefly mentions the use of terahertz devices to replace X-Rays in airports, thus reducing harmful body effects. This got me thinking of all the negative effects of micro and terahertz radiation in general. His encouraging tone throughout the article ignores the true problem with Wireless networks today. Too much exposure to microwaves causes brain tumors, worsens brain function in general, and can even neutralize sperm. Research has shown that terahertz can de- strip DNA. With our world becoming more technology based, we must worry about our children’s futures. Faster communication within our active global economy will mean that we are more exposed to this new terahertz radiation. Our children will be at the risk of being underdeveloped with this technology being more abundant in the future. What will this mean for our future? I encourage that everyone finds a way to limit their use of Wi-Fi and cellular devices. Or even try to develop another way to send information electronically. For the economic future with this new technology is fruitful, but maybe another discovery could do the same job. We should not encourage a replacement to microwaves that will still hurt us physically.

Main Article: