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Viruses don’t really matter, do they?

 July 24

by Andrew Richards

What if there was no chocolate?

I think sometimes we all get a bit blasé about viruses and malware and the effects that they can have. We hear about them all the time. People are always getting hit with them. And yet we’re all still here.

Facebook got hit with that whole “Cambridge Analytica” thing a couple of years ago, but they’re still here, right? I can still post about my chihuahua’s birthday party, can’t I? And I remember reading about Uber being hacked a while back, but I can still get my cheap taxi to that Donald Trump-themed fancy dress party this evening…

Leaving aside that the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica debacle had nothing to do with malware, I think the problem is that “familiarity breeds contempt” in all of us.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Imagine a world where the world’s supply of Fruit and Nut bars disappeared. Now don’t panic, they’re still on the shelves, it was just an example…  But imagine Cadbury’s was hit. Or worse, its parent company – Mondalez – taking out all the other members of the snack-producing family too. Even Oreos.

More seriously, imagine you’re an import / export business, using Fed Ex to ship your parcels over the world. What if Fed Ex was hit, and unable to move your time-sensitive, perhaps refrigerated goods?

Let’s dial this up a notch. Suppose that it wasn’t Fed Ex, but a company that’s used to move things by sea the world over. Imagine the world’s largest shipping cargo was hit (that’s a Danish company called Maersk, by the way). In fact, let’s have some fun and imagine that both Fed Ex and Maersk get hit.

Going to hospital? Perhaps the worst that could happen would be that the system that records your patient records gets hit. So, when you arrive for that shoulder op, you suddenly notice that the surgeon is marking up cutting lines on your knee.

What if the lights just went off?

Or ATMs stopped responding?

All this happened. All on the same day. In June 2017.

It mattered.

Take a look at our short film about the events when a worm called “NotPetya” changed the world.

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