Those of you who have read Alpha to Omega, will know the tremendous risks posed by pathogenic viruses. This week, I received an email from a reader about the Internet variety.
I have previously posted about the problems in the Middle East, not least in respect of Israel and Iran. Since then, Israel has hit a convoy carrying arms from Syria to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. In the process (through good intelligence) it appears to have killed top Iranian General Hassan Shateri. Now what, you might ask, is an Iranian General doing getting mixed up in all of this. For an answer, I refer you to one of my earlier posts. At the same time, Iran has been making further advances with its nuclear programme.
So where do Internet viruses figure? Well my reader reminded me about the stuxnet virus. This was probably jointly developed by the USA & Israel specifically to attack Iran's nuclear facilities and seems to be 'intelligent' as it can target specific systems. As tensions increase so, I imagine, will cyber attacks.
And they're not the only ones at it! The Chinese People's Liberation Army are also very active. Unit 61398 based in Shanghai spreads it net around the world, trying to steal - and succeeding - commercial and military secrets. It also has the capacity and motivation to spread major internet viruses, whenever it suits its purpose. In this day and age, you don't just need the world's largest army to achieve domination.
Returning to Israel/Iran, these problems are likely to be right at the top of President Obama's list during his upcoming visit to Israel. I previously gave my views on when military action was most likely and the weeks following this visit would seem to be worth watching. No doubt there will be a good deal of cyber activity in the run up to any military action.
Throughout history, there have been periods of time that historians refer to as 'Ages'. We are now very much in the Age of the virus - both pathogenic and cyber.