The Myth of Internet Security

Web Warriors

National Geographic (2008)

Film Review

Web Warriors is a documentary about the vulnerability of major computer-controlled power, communication, transport and military grids to attacks by hackers, viruses and worms that have the potential to bring regional and national economies to a standstill.

The goal of the film is to confront viewers with the stark reality that the Internet was never designed to be secure. The World Wide Web was never designed to be an engine of commerce or to safeguard bank and other financial data. At present, it’s still virtually impossible to design a 100% secure computer network.

The video opens by exploring the likelihood that the August 24 blackout that shut down the eastern US and Canada for two days in August 2003 was most likely caused by a computer worm attack, rather than a “programming error,” as claimed by company officials.

It goes own to identify other Fortune 500 companies shut down at various times by hackers, including Yahoo, Ebay, Dell, CNN, Amazon, Amtrak and Air Canada. Most companies try to cover up incidents of cybercrime so as not to alarm their shareholders or customer base.

Microsoft’s monopoly on the operating systems used in commercial computer networks (ie they all use Windows) significantly increases their vulnerability to hacking, viruses and worms.*

*This was seen recently in the critical infrastructure in countries all over the world shut down by the May 2017 WannaCry Ransomware attack. See WannaCry Ransomware Everything You Need to Know