Cybercrime could paralyze nations, says IT professor

Hai Luong
By Hai Luong
May 5, 2017Politicsshare

A computer virus could paralyze an entire nation, said professor Jörn Müller-Quade of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

A program could shut off our power, or slowly infect our economy and drive it downward until it crashes

“Many people associate IT security with their personal computer,” said professor Müller-Quade. “Unfortunately they neglect the fact that we are more and more dependent on IT systems for energy supply and that in future, entire economies, and entire countries can be paralyzed if not enough attention is given to IT security.”

Not every cyberattack would be as dramatic as shutting off the power to an region.

Müller-Quade noted that the Stuxnet worm infected Iran’s nuclear fuel factory and made tiny adjustments so the output was not good. The same approach could slowly depress a nation’s economy.

As a professor at a German university, Müller-Quade had firsthand exposure to government targeted cyberattacks.

Germany’s government was attacked by hackers in 2015, and again in January 2017.

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