Date
15 December 2017
Michele Ledgerwood (right), from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the Internet of Things will bring more complex decisions for corporate leaders. Photo: HKEJ
Michele Ledgerwood (right), from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the Internet of Things will bring more complex decisions for corporate leaders. Photo: HKEJ

Internet of Things to open new cyber war frontier

The cyber world will be a key battlefield between world leaders and terrorists when billions of items around the globe are connected to the internet, a top associate of a US public policy think tank said Thursday.

The Internet of Things, a system in which the internet is linked to virtually all devices beyond desktops and mobile gadgets, such as cars and refrigerators, has been debated since the 1990s. And consensus is growing that its time will arrive soon.

“It’s going to have dramatic change in our lives. But for me, if I see from the security side, it will also become a new frontier of cyber terrorism,” Michele Ledgerwood, senior associate with the International Security Program at the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in Hong Kong Thursday. 

Ledgerwood said cyber wars will be frequent in the Internet-of-Things era.

That prediction comes after Facebook Inc., owner of the world’s largest social networking site, apologized to users for a half-hour crash in its system on June 19. Facebook did not say how many countries were affected by the crash. It also did not give any reason.

But computer experts suspect the failure was caused by a large-scale hacker attack launched from China.

A day earlier, Next Media’s Hong Kong website was hacked in the early morning. The attack, just days before the June 22 Occupy Central poll on political reform, occurred at the time Apple Daily newspaper content is usually uploaded to the site and on the day that the weekly Next Magazine is published, Taiwan’s newtalk.tw reported, claiming opponents of the movement were behind the attack.

Ledgerwood said the new era will also present corporate, government and community leaders with increasingly complex decisions to make.

In addition, the key trends in technology, not particularly surprising, are that everything is becoming smaller, faster, smarter and more energy efficient.

But one big challenge centers on how to train the brains of children growing up surrounded by technology.

“Their brains are fundamentally different from ours, so how do we prepare these new brains?” Ledgerwood said.

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