Two stories on information warfare.
1. Here is an excellent reason for doing whatever it takes to bring your IT in-house. A class of IT business called “managed service provider” (MSP) specializes in some other particular type of business. They handle hundreds of clients with just a tiny operation. So this MSP caters to dentist offices, and another to small municipal governments, etc. The ransomware hackers go after these MSPs because of a very much higher likelihood the victim will pay exorbitant ransom demands. That’s because most of these MSPs are just mom-n-pop outfits run out of someone’s home.
The profit margin for an MSP is very high, until they face an attack that disables hundreds of clients, who in turn panic and swamp the MSP with demands for restoration. Way too many are simply not equipped to respond to that. All the pressure of catastrophic business losses overwhelm them and they are forced to shut down, leaving their clients with no backups or even an explanation.
2. Nothing new, but here is an example of the BBC lying outright. They have created fake video footage, and made up some bullshit story of what it all meant. We’ve seen similar crap from CNN quite regularly, and all the other US news networks at one time or another. And you can bet the BBC will not apologize for the lies; they are more likely to double down, because they knew it was false before they ever got involved with the story.
So we can see in story #1 that data is critical when your whole business model rests on steady access to that data. Any attack that blocks access to the data can cause businesses and governments to fail. There is also a secondary threat to processing current data coming in, so that services to clients can become impossible except by shifting suddenly back to paper records and processing. This typically means an exponential increase in the time it takes to get things done.
In story #2, it’s a question of getting honest data from what is essentially an oligopoly — a cartel that together holds a monopoly. While the methods vary from one country to the next, most of them have a small cartel of official news agencies, and the government in one way or another demands at the point of a gun that you buy the lies. It is becoming illegal to offer an alternative story for public consumption. Neither the government nor its approved cartels tolerate competition.
Pull your IT back in-house to the degree possible. These attacks will only escalate. More people need to learn computer technology. Meanwhile, keep your cynicism high on governments and anything governments approve.