Lately the world has been ending a lot.
An earthquake in Mexico. A rain bomb in Houston. Blood in Barcelona and wildfires in wine country. A madman in Sin City and madness in Mogadishu. Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un lobbing insults and vowing to lob missiles. Spit-shined fascists in European capitals grabbing at the levers of power.
Somehow it seems fitting that cyber mischief is in the news now as never before—why shouldn’t an emerging threat seem to mature just when the old threats are all at their scariest? Consider this inventory:
I haven’t even explicitly mentioned the Russia/Trump story. Perhaps Robert Mueller is developing a clear understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 election. If so, he is—outside the Volga watershed—the only individual so enlightened. I haven’t mentioned Experian, either. There’s a lot I haven’t mentioned. The cyber threat, previously frightening on a theoretical level but merely annoying on a practical level, has suddenly metastasized into a vivid, wicked, here-and-now problem.
Maybe we deserve it. Years ago we bemoaned the lobotomizing power of the boob tube, but television can’t compete with smart phones. Last week I saw a woman trip while walking and texting. As soon as she could right herself, she went back to walking and texting.
We’ve traded friends for “friends.” We’ve traded love for “likes.”
Probably someone has written that line before me but I’m not scouring the Internet to find out who.
Did I mention that it’s National Cyber Security Month?