Cyber Attackers Might Start Physically Harming People Soon According to A Report

Cyberattacks are so commonplace that most people have started to accept them as a way of life. However, many major players in the tech industry are warning against complacency because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up causing a lot of harm in the long run. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that a lot of the damage that these attacks do is financial which might be why a lot of people don’t really take them all that seriously right now.

Unfortunately, with the advent of robotics in the workplace, we might soon have to start worrying about cyberattacks causing various types of physical harm. These hackers might be able to access operational technology and use it to injure and potentially even kill people in the real world. A report released by Gartner has indicated that these attacks could begin as early as 2025. While they might not be occurring right now, planning for them in advance is quite crucial otherwise it will be difficult to contend with them once they have begun in earnest.

There already exist various types of cyberweapons that have caused harm in some way, shape or form. One really good example of this can be seen in the Pegasus breach. The databases that were accessed in this breach revealed that people who were murdered in real life were on said databases. While correlation does not prove causation, it does seem to indicate that major powers in the world are already starting to take the notion of actual cyber warfare quite seriously, so it stands to reason that they might try to up the ante in this regard.

There have also been cyberattacks that have taken important infrastructure offline. An example of this can be seen with the rolling power outages in the US following a hack, as well as the deactivation of a nuclear enrichment facility in Iran recently.

The purpose of these attacks might not always be to cause some form of wanton harm. Quite on the contrary, a number of attacks might be carried out for purely monetary or commercial purposes. Meddling with the OT of a particular company could ruin that company’s reputation, so there might even be a market for black hat hackers who could specialize in the provision of these services to various interested clientele.

Gartner projects that fatalities from these types of cyberattacks could incur a cost as high as $50 billion as soon as 2023. This is just around the corner, so it is really important for the people that can put a stop to this to take action before it is too late. It is also important to note that in a lot of ways, the people that are involved in the cyber arms race should be halted as well. Any kind of weaponry can be put to use to do a lot of harm. Cyberattacks will become even more dangerous in the future, and this can cause some pretty massive instability both from an economic as well as a human perspective neither of which are going to be easy to deal with.

Photo: Stevanovicigor / Getty Images / iStockphoto

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