Here are something’s that I’m sure will ignite conspiracy theorists.
People have hacked cars and most over forms of transportation. These hacks have included the ability to stop your brakes from working and moving your steering wheel. While the knowledge is currently held by a small group of people, it never stays that way and I predict that “murder by hacking/trolls” will be old news before 2020.
You’ve probably used GPS multiple times today without realizing it. The thing is, so has everybody, everywhere, all the time. What would happened if something stopped GPS systems?
If the GPS system were to ever fail, just like GLONASS did the economic damage would easily be in the 100’s of billions as financial institutions depend on GPS for timing. Note that this technology was developed 19 years ago based on a 41 year old theory. One mis-programmed counter could bring it all down if it wasn’t caught.
Now, let’s get into how secure all of the big structures we depend on everyday for power, and oil, and water supplies?
Everything from power plants to dams to oil pipelines still uses SCADA a protocol developed with 1990s era security practices. These systems are connected to the internet. One worm on the scale of ILOVEYOU built to target these systems would have wide reaching real world consequences including cutting off municipal water supplies.
Now, here’s where it all hits us, and this prediction seems accurate if not inevitable. (Ok, maybe a bit too much hyperbole, but it seems plausible):
In the next decade I predict that there will be a cyberwar or a terrorist attack over the internet. People will die and the economic damage will be equal to, if not greater then a bombing of a major city. This will provoke a backlash that will fundamentally rewrite the way that we interact with our computers. I cannot even hazard a guess as to what direction that will take but if Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is anything to go by, it will not be pretty.
Are you staring blankly at your computer screen like I am?