The first time I found this article on killer computer viruses, I immediately thought of one of those lame Saturday Sci-Fi movies that are always on about people being sucked into their computer monitors or something equally silly. No, apparently this is the real deal. Well, to a degree. The article explains that the real threat to human life can happen when malware affects computers handling health, transportation, or other critical services that have an impact on our well being at some level.
The real meat of the article comes down to an airplane crash that apparently had been affected by malware. And yes, I am going to say it. If we are talking malware, we are talking about the platform generally being targeted — Windows. So it’s clear that putting popular platforms with a horrid history in the security front on duty for critical things like air travel is simply foolish. But the biggest issue of all is that even if we can keep our own individual networks secure, this does nothing to prevent Slammer Worm like scenarios in which the Internet collectively slows, affecting services connected to it regardless of the platforms involved. It only takes X number of infected machines to create problems.
So in truth, no, sorry to report that no one is going to be reliving Tron, seeing their webcams shooting laser beams or perhaps being eaten alive by a flatbed scanner gone wild. As neat as it would be to read about, I think we can all agree that it’s fantastic we live in a world where truth, in reality, is not nearly so frightening.