Are Islamic terrorists a threat to computer networks?
There is much discussion over the potential for the Islamic State terrorist movement to cause major disruption to computer networks. Although the group has made no specific threat to cyber infrastructures it is a real concern that they, or other terrorist organisations, could use cyber attacks among their weapons. One network that would certainly cause serious disruption is the power grid but experts say it is unlikely that a targeted attack there would be successful highlighting that it is built for resilience and has redundancy as an integral part of the system, however it has been pointed out that Mexico’s power grid was once compromised by an attack from a drug cartel. On a more general note, Islamic State has been reported to be creating software that could cause disruption to computer systems. Cyber security experts say that businesses often leave themselves vulnerable by being unwilling to update software. Often this is because systems have been created using a particular version of software and businesses are cautious about updating to versions that may not work well with their systems. There are many companies for example, that run their networks on older versions of Windows such as XP or Windows 2000. Using software that is no longer supported by the manufacturer means no security patches, weakening the network’s security. Read the full story.
UN summit pledges $2.3 billion for nations at risk of climate change
President Obama says that the “urgent and growing threat of climate change” could be the biggest defining issue of this century and called for an “ambitious and flexible” agreement. The President was speaking at the UN Climate Change Summit in New York where 120 world leaders are hoping to gain consensus on how the world should progress with climate change reform. A new fund is being set up to help developing nations tackle the effects of environmental change but the pledges so far have fallen well short of the $10 billion target for this year. France and Germany have each put $1 billion in to the fund but has only been another $300,000 pledged so far.
New data on climate change shows rising sea levels
The rising sea levels around the world pose a huge risk to many communities. New analysis from Climate Central shows that the Netherlands could lose 40 per cent of its land from flooding but has some of the most advanced defences, mitigating the risk. Asia continues to be at greatest threat with 8 of the 10 large countries at risk being in the region. Of those, finances may not allow defences to be put in place. The analysis suggests that the risk from climate change, and flooding in particular, is being underestimated. It says that 500 million people could be living in areas that are at regular risk of flooding. Read the full story.