Computer Sabotage: Made Possible by Human Error

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When it comes to technology there is always room for error, whether it be in the code that is providing functionality to a system or from the tasks and operations given to the system by the user. The military has a saying, “You have to be ten percent smarter than your equipment.” The extra ten percent is to cover, and work around, errors that you yourself might make. Anytime errors are made they are almost always called an “operator error”, blaming the incident directly on the person operating the system rather than the system itself. While there is a little wiggle room here, since there is almost always room for improvement in any system, it is not far off. When speaking of computer sabotage we are referring to the disruption, or destruction, of a system by malware. However, unlike electronic break-ins, where hackers gain unauthorized access to a system, computer sabotage almost always occurs due to an “operator error” as the user unknowingly welcomes malware to their own system. Computer sabotage often targets the weakest points of entry into a system and relies on the ignorance of a user to mount an attack, therefore proper training of users and the constant debugging and testing of security measures should be stressed to ensure the highest level of defense from malicious attack.
Firstly, when discussing computer sabotage it is important to follow the actions that led to the incident in order to determine key areas that might be improved. One such incident is the relatively new crypto locker virus, which practically takes a user’s entire system ransom until a sum of money has been paid. Now one might think that this type of incident must warrant some extreme form of attack, when in reality the victims of this attack were sai...

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