In my last post, R2-D2 and the Cyberwars, I touched upon the possibility of an EMP over our nation, and the resulting havoc such a detonation would create. I also mentioned the building of a Faraday Cage to help protect your valuable electronic components from such a shock. There is no foolproof defense against such an attack, but these cages are the only means of defense the average citizen has. But before I spend time on the building and theory behind such a device I want to approach the entire spectrum of today’s methods of warfare.
In bygone days, when a nation went to war against another nation, their two armies would meet upon the field of honor and do battle unto each other, until one army gave up and went home crying to mommy. It was strictly soldier against soldier. Nothing but military might against military might. Guerilla warfare, when used, was against the enemies military. Sometimes sacking of local villages would occur in enemy territory, bit this was not the norm, by historical accounts.
Today, warfare has become as impersonal as it can be, short of having two robots duke it out in the alley behind a poolroom. Sometimes soldiers never even see the people they kill. But we have a second element that has come into being in the science of warfare, and that is the element we call terrorism. This is not warfare of one brave soldier fighting another brave soldier. This is about a coward attacking an innocent population to make their points.
To do this they operate in highly unconventional ways, and because of this are difficult to stop. Suicide bombers are just one of the ways that these people can intimidate an unsuspecting people into obeying the terrorists will. We have not seen this occur on our soil as yet, but we will. It is only a matter of time. By not chopping the serpents head off with a shovel when the chance was offered, we now have to deal with a very large, and very deadly snake in our midst. This poisonous reptile must be slain.
At some point, the terrorists in question will realize that America is not founded upon the ideals that the socialist left would have us honor, but the conservative principles that our constitution and other documents were based upon. The ideals of opportunity and progress. The ideals of faith and worship. The ideals of fairness and equality.
They will learn that attacking mere buildings and symbols will not have any great affect upon this nation, for we were not founded upon brick and stone, empty pillars of symbolism. We were founded upon unchangeable principles of freedom and worship. It stands to reason then that we will at some time, maybe soon, see a suicide bombing attack upon our own soil. Perhaps in a crowded mall on a Saturday afternoon. Perhaps at a cathedral as a High Easter Mass is celebrated. Perhaps at a Protestant mega-church worship with thousands in attendance. Perhaps at a big New York Synagogue. Or maybe at the polls this November, as they seem prone to be doing in Iraq during their own electoral process.
The point of this discussion is not to suggest we be afraid of such an attack, but that we learn to prepare and protect ourselves from such an attack. We can do this by realizing that there are many avenues that these attacks may come from, and an EMP is just one such avenue. We need to make certain that we are not expending our resources upon an event that while is a great possibility, has a small potential of probably occurring. A missile that can be launched over an enemies country is a great undertaking and takes much resource to accomplish. To do this with a nuclear warhead, and then detonate it at just the right altitude and geographic location requires much more in the way of resources. In reality, very few powers have those resources available today.
Of much greater concern are the backpack style nuclear devices, missing military hardware, suicide bombers, computer hacking, and other direct attacks upon our population. There are many ways that the Al Queda and other terrorist elements can wreak havoc upon this nation. We need to be aware of them all, and develop plans to counter these attacks.
Perhaps one of the greatest real threats is the potential for cyber attacks upon our financial and information systems. A good hacker can get into nearly any system, while a great hacker can even circumvent the most secure systems available, even the government systems. A push to embrace the practice of cloud computing only serves to make it easier on the hackers. Free flowing information may make it easier for your own computer, but it leaves all of your information available for all to see, if they’ve guile enough.
Social networks and advertising campaigns, e-mail newsletters and more all collect your personal information and leave it vulnerable to theft by a hacker, who can then use that information to develop identification codes allowing them to break into various computers, including your own.
Most of us have several gadgets that can access the internet and wireless airwaves. For your own safety, I would suggest developing multiple personalities for each of these gadgets with their own unique passwords and personal data. This will make it harder for hackers to develop the information they need to break into your own computer, and also make the information needed for various online accounts you may have less accessible to them.
Next time, we’ll go into the rudimentary concepts of creating a Faraday Cage to safeguard your gadgets from an EMP attack.