Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus from Patrick Clair on Vimeo.

The first missile fired in the next war, will be digital.

That’s the thought I had after watching the video above. Online security has been thrust in to the public mind over the last few months (50 odd days some would say) and this has really brought some issues to light. Firstly, our reliance on outdated security protocols is just plain worrying. I know I for won always check for encrypted pages when doing transactions online, hell, I only use my Facebook account over a HTTPS connection. So when I have a good idea what I’m doing and information of mine is still getting hacked out of servers – Thanks Sony! – I have to ask the question; “Are we being protected or lied too?”

The complacency seems to be the issue’s core. “Who’d hack us? We’re the CIA!” That mentality lead to their site going down for 3 hours at the hands of LulzSec. “We’re Sony! Our systems are safe!” Uttered before the catastrophic hack that took the PlayStation Network down for 5 WEEKS! 5!

Then we get the video above. A virus designed as a weapon. Not biological, but digital. For one thing, it’s impressive. The energy and thought that went in to making such a thing, staggering. I’m sure many people said the same thing about the Atom Bomb. At the core of a weapon is great engineering. Engineering at it’s purest form. That development eventually finds it’s way in to medical devices and other forms of life saving and enhancing forms. Could the development of things like Stuxnet bring us better search algorithms? Perhaps advance learning computers? An unsolvable Portal chamber?

Perhaps. But for now, be safe online. Long passwords with numbers and capital letters. don’t use the same password twice and lastly but vitally, just because a large company has your data, doesn’t mean they know how to look after it.