Cyber attacks could shutdown cities

A new CSIRO report warns that the dangers of cyber attacks are being greatly overlooked in Australia.

Released earlier this month, the report details in depth the ways in which Australia is becoming a more technologically reliant nation. While this is certainly not a bad thing, the inherent issue of the situation is the danger of cyber attacks, a danger which the CSIRO highlights and discusses possible solutions.

Systems such as electricity and water management which have traditionally been self-contained are now being merged with online services. Although this is certain to bring major improvements to functionality, in its current state it will also bring increased danger. A trend of cyber attacks on these systems is appearing; examples of these atrocious attacks include taking down the electricity of entire cities during heat waves and pumping sewage into national parks. The ramifications of these attacks is not difficult to visualize, with serious heat waves already taking hundreds of lives, the absence of electricity and air conditioning would cause these figures to climb.

These attacks are being made possible due to a widespread negligence to improve the security of these systems, which the CSIRO believes is due to the relatively low amount of attacks that are reported.

If this trend of cyber attacks continues to climb, will digital security be able to keep up with the onslaught of attacks? Or does our government need to take more action to stop this from happening right now?

The full report entitled “Enabling Australia’s Digital Future: Cyber Security Trends and Implications” is available on the CSIRO website.

Written by ryanbo