Few things are more odious than the claims issued almost daily from various politicians and our cyberwarrior national security experts on the nature of the threat. The politicians stand for the 1 percent. And the cyberwarriors are part of the Shoeshiner Service, errand fulfillment for it. They acknowledge no reality. For them, the problem is cyberattack on the economy, the water, power, everything, because defense against calamitous unknowns is a direct way to national security spending.
Unfortunately, the problem is economic collapse, stagnation, recession, depression. It came upon us over years, accelerated in the last decade, and has nothing to do with vulnerability in cyberspace.
Make no mistake, the failure of the economy to work for every American is a security problem. The middle class, what's left of it, and the underclass receive no tangible benefit from increased spending in cyberdefense. None. It's kind of like that trickle-down trash you've heard about for twenty or thirty years but never actually seen.
I'm well-equipped to judge and over two decades of studying and covering the issues, I've seen little to zero accrued benefit from cyberdefense at any level although I have seen the the day to day battle of scanning for malware, reading news stories about the theft of untold treasures in cyberspace and -- well, it just goes on and on. And you're in the same boat as me.
The water will not be turned off. Most likely, neither will the power. When the electricity is meddled with we find it is insiders, with the familiar name JPMorgan Chase, who have gamed the digital power trading system for profit.
There is no motivation for any alleged enemy to do so, other than the old, cliched, and repeated ad nauseam twin cants of "since they can't attack us head-on, they'll attack in cyberspace" and "they hate us for [fill in the blank]."
However, what is happening, and will continue to happen, is the diminishing of general populace's ability to pay for and get water and power services equal to what is proper for a First World nation.
By the same token, the financial system, when it fails, is always made whole by the government. However, nobody in the general populace is ever made whole. So what's the big deal with the invasion of financial services? It's crime. And it goes on all the time. But "a credit-card processing center is hacked and millions of cards are canceled because the numbers are posted on internet sites!" says someone. Yeah, but is it an existential threat to the land of the free? And credit card information hasn't been exposed before? Right.
So how do you secure an infrastructure the way it is recommended it be secured when the majority has no underlying belief in the worth of it?
It's like trying to prop up a corrupt government. You can try to ignore the root causes, treat symptoms or put the worst consequences off for awhile with more and more invasive and predatory legislative and technological protocols but the underlying disease is not cured.
Which brings us to the primary motivator for the escalating threatening talk about digital menace.
It's about more rake-off, preserving your big piece of the pie.
Spending priorities must be shifted. If any austerity is handed to the defense structure, contractor defense services for cyberspace are a growth opportunity. If the government, namely the taxpayer, can be legislatively pressured into paying for mandated security upgrades to the private sector, then this is a protected stimulus.
Comparing today's lack of preparation to defend against a major cyber attack to the nation's security lapses before 9/11, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said, "There's an overwhelming, bipartisan consensus among officials in the intelligence, defense and national security community that America is incredibly vulnerable to a cyber attack that can be launched at any moment from anywhere in the world."
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials, Durbin said, have jointly warned against a "catastrophic cyber attack that could cripple our nation's economy, cause widespread loss of life, and send our economy into freefall.
Cripple our economy [and] send our economy into a freefall. Plus widespread loss of life. That pretty much covers it.
Cyberattack will cripple the economy. Dream on. Have a smartphone.