In the first 10 weeks of 2022, over 150 cyberattacks were launched against Ukraine. Before Russian troops invaded, hackers disabled over 70 government websites in the country. Hours before the invasion began, Ukraine was hit by new malware designed to wipe data. Officials worry Ukraine may have been a testing ground because its tech infrastructure is similar to Western Europe and North America, but the country has limited resources for counter-attacks.
What will the next generation of cyber war look like? Cyber attacks are on the rise around the world. Individual attacks can shut down electrical grids, destroy power infrastructure, or even wreck pipelines. Cyber war takes these harms to the next level, with the potential to wreak havoc on the scale of a natural disaster. Knocking out a power grid could cause conditions similar to the 2021 Texas freeze, killing hundreds while wiping out access to electricity, food storage, and water.
While the US is ranked most secure against cyber attacks, 93% of Americans still fear the possibility. Many Americans are taking measures to protect themselves, including keeping their software up to date, changing important passwords on a regular basis, keeping cash reserves, and backing up important documents offline.