If somebody assassinated the head of my armed forces, I wouldn’t fight the last war over it.
Yes, there would have to be a loud bang somewhere, or two loud bangs, for the crowds to see that something had been done, but for my real response, I’d ramp up my cyber-attack capability.
Maybe hack the president’s finances and release his tax returns? That would be a start. There’s a lot in the not-quite-public domain, I believe, and this is an election year.
My understanding of cyber-everything - cyber-crime, cyber-espionage, cyber-security, blah, blah - is that today’s target of choice is the financial system. Banks. Central banks.
“Malicious state actors” routinely tie up with amoral (or straightforwardly criminal) networks of tech people, to extract money, stop payments, seize everything up. They want the money in their own vaults (tip: buy physical assets) but they also want, for example, the US military not to be able to pay its suppliers.
Lots of soldiers, no more bullets. Your payment has been declined, general.
Would that happen? How effective is all this?
We hear a lot about big data, the surveillance economy, online marketing, et cetera, but none of it works. I know this because my life isn’t perfect.
All those big-tech firms watching my every move for clues as to where I want to spend my money, how I want to spend my life, and still the recommendations are more about what they want to sell than what I want to buy.
We’ll know that large-scale cyber-attacking works if we learn a lot more about the president in the near future. If they divert their cyber-capability to achieving a real, state-of-the-tech, current-war response - and it detonates.
Either they put their heads together and realise that what would really hurt him - cut, sorry, this was going to be one heck of a convoluted sentence. He’s not hurt - not overmuch, anyway, although didn’t he sound panicky there, for a short while? - by missiles into two empty bases, with notice in advance.
But he’d think twice if the real response turned out to be something that went viral on YouTube, for example, or attracted the attention of the IRS. Especially if they gave him notice in advance that they had footage of him, let’s say, making undeclared payments with his trousers off.
Big-tech firms don’t know me well enough to transform my life with their promises and their offerings.
If cyber-criminals can’t give us at least a peak at the president’s private life, then they’re not half as scary as we’re told to think.