Future Processing on digital vandalism

Is digital vandalism a new security threat?

date: 17 March 2016
reading time: 2 min

Times when broken windows and scratched cars seemed to be in vandals’ interests are long gone. Now we may face much more impudent damages that would be unheard of just a few years back. We are talking about digital vandalism.

You may wonder what digital vandalism really is.

It is defacing digital assets of a company or individuals just to cause nuisance. The attacks are rarely set to cause serious problems or material gains. They happen simply because they are possible.

Plenty of examples can be enumerated, however harmless they may sound at first, some may have serious consequences – meddling with water or sewage systems, changing lights or temperature within buildings

Destroying a cyberspace is what vandals do. Most of them spend hours writing software responsible for cyber pranks.

Vandals may also target gas pipelines and power plants – no need to mention that such behaviour can even result in blow-ups and deaths of people in a close perimeter to the area. What we’ve enumerated above is just a beginning of the list, which, to tell the truth, is limited only by vandals’ imagination.

Google’s the victim of a mild prank

Last year Google enabled its users to participate in map creation on their Map Maker.

Little did they know what was about to happen and so digital vandals took matters into their hands. They created an illustration of an Android mascot urinating on Apple’s logo. Luckily, it was taken down as soon as Google found out. As a result, they disabled moderation possibilities for a while.

How to avoid such attacks?

In case of smart buildings and their renovation they must be treated as a whole package as we’ve pointed out previously. It is highly advised against renovating just a few rooms or floors. A simple change of a lightbulb may be noticed by vandals and has consequences.

Individuals have to protect their assets with strong passwords and other authentication systems. After all, their computers and other devices may be connected not only to their house management system, but also may contain valuable documents and financials.

As technology moves forward, we may always expect new risks to appear. But we shouldn’t worry too much, as security advancements keep pace.

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