Is a Cyber 9/11 Coming?

By Marie Hawthorne

Talk of a “Cyber 9/11” has been circulating for years.  With the next presidential election twelve months away now, some folks are predicting that a major cyber event will happen before then, throwing a monkey wrench into the 2024 election process.

What the heck is Cyber 9/11?

What does Cyber 9/11 mean?  Is there a real risk?  What should we be preparing for?

There are two aspects to the Cyber 9/11 concept.  The first is the disaster itself; 9/11 was a catastrophe that ended the lives of over 3000 people in one day.  There are fears that if power grids were hacked or enough damage was done to logistical centers, the ensuing chaos would cause deaths.

Quite memorably, back in 2000, a disgruntled public works employee in Australia hacked into the water treatment system and caused raw sewage to pour into public areas, flooding a Hyatt hotel.  One man acting alone caused a disgusting, expensive mess. Of course security experts are concerned with what a team of angry individuals could do.

The second aspect to a potential Cyber 9/11 is the change in the regulatory landscape that occurred after 9/11 in 2001.  I remember flying as a teenager in the 90s. So many things changed later.  The airport changes were most obvious to regular citizens, but the passage of the Patriot Act in October 2001 was far more consequential.  It dramatically changed the way surveillance was conducted.

Under the Fourth Amendment, private citizens are supposed to be protected from warrantless search and seizures.  The Patriot Act really weakened that. Law enforcement is now allowed to delay the notice of search warrants.  They don’t need nearly as much oversight from judges to conduct phone and internet surveillance.

These Constitution-weakening changes occurred after 9/11 in 2001.

How might our Constitutional rights be altered after a Cyber 9/11?

Centralized powers have made it obvious that they love using calamities to push through changes the public would never otherwise accept.  Winston Churchill was the first person on record to say, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” as he worked to establish the UN in the 1940s, but he was hardly the last.

Understanding this tendency to see crisis as opportunity is absolutely vital to understanding everything else going on today.

So, is a Cyber 9/11 something we should be preparing for?

Some experts believe that a Cyber 9/11 would be difficult to pull off by the known terrorist groups for technical reasons.  And the world is too connected, globally, for most governments to pursue large-scale cyberattacks, even between unfriendly nations.  For people who want to use the internet to harm American society, there are simply better ways to do it.

However, we can’t ignore the fact that cyberattacks have been increasing.  Ask any small business owner. Daisy has mentioned in previous articles that most of this site’s income goes to security.  And I’ve heard similar things from friends that work in fields as diverse as accounting and energy.

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These stories from friends align with what security professionals have found, too.  The Information Security Forum is a London-based firm that provides guidance on internet security for many Fortune 500 companies and governments around the world.  They have seen a huge increase in cyberattacks, too, and in June this year, they hosted an Operational Technology Cyber Simulation exercise in Brussels.  This gave industry leaders an opportunity to meet and collaborate, working through a simulation of a cyberattack on a fictitious manufacturing facility

How would governments react to a major cyberattack?

I don’t think a major cyberattack is an unreasonable concern.  I also don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask, if we did have a major cyber event, how would our governments react?

Central banks and governments around the world have been talking an awful lot about implementing CBDCs.  In late June, 130 countries representing 98% of the global economy were exploring CBDCs.  This is despite a lack of interest by average citizens.  During Covid, many people became aware of how China used its social credit system, interconnected with online banking, to enforce compliance.

It’s not just China that people can look to with alarm. When Nigeria’s government tried to impose CBDCs on their citizens, widespread protests erupted.

In the U.S., Republican Senators introduced legislation that would ban the federal government from implementing a CBDC.   Europeans don’t want CBDCs, either.  It has simply become too obvious that CBDCs will be used as a means of control, and politicians have been caught admitting it.

Look at the Rumble pranksters who convinced European Central Bank President Christine LaGarde that she was on the phone with Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky.  She admits, thinking that she is speaking privately, that CBDCs would be used to control what kind of payments the population would be able to make.

There’s no putting the cat back in that bag.  Politicians and central bankers want total financial control, and they think they have the technology to do it, through CBDCs.  Average citizens worldwide have been making it clear that they would really prefer to have the option of private, decentralized payments through crypto or cash, and so there is a legitimate concern that any upcoming cyberattack (no matter who actually conducts it) could be used to reset financial systems worldwide.

But do they have the technology to pull this off successfully?

Who knows.

We’ve talked before about Ukraine’s Diia app and how, shortly after it launched, they had a massive data breach in which millions of people had their personal information released all over the dark web.

This breach was tiny compared to what just happened to the people of India in the recent Aadhaar data breach.

Aadhaar is the Indian program launched to streamline the identification process of Indian citizens.  The program was rolled out in 2009, issuing a unique 12-digit number to each person who registered in exchange for their biometric data.

Before Aadhaar, there was no universal identification program within India, and as you can imagine, this led to widespread abuse and corruption.  Aadhaar claimed to solve that problem.

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Within a few years of launching, Aadhaar had become the world’s largest biometric data collection service.  As of 2023, 99% of Indians, or 1.3 billion people, have handed over their fingerprints and iris scans in exchange for access to government services.  The Indian government has boasted that this allows the poorest Indians, many of whom had no official identification beforehand, to receive benefits.

A court ruling in 2018 claimed that the Indian government could demand Aadhaar data, but that private entities such as banks and phone companies could not.  However, despite this court ruling, many educated people within India claim that it was not clear what services would or would not be withheld based on Aadhaar participation.  Instances of fraud have been playing out since its adoption.  It has been used for voter fraud.  And, once you opt-in, there’s no opting out.

Within the past two weeks, India has suffered a massive data breach, with 815 million people having their biometric data and banking information put up for sale on the dark web.

This is the biggest data breach in history.  Eight hundred fifteen million people means that more than 1 in 10 people on planet Earth just had their data stolen.  You can find many, many videos on YouTube of furious Indians talking about the data breach, but Western media has totally ignored this for reasons that are probably obvious.

How am I preparing?

So, after all this, am I preparing for Cyber 9/11?  Am I prepping for the attack itself, or some kind of biometrically linked CBDC to roll out?

General chaos, leading to Thirdworldization, is my pre-2024 election prediction.  There are some power-hungry people individuals who would love to have the whole world living under a global digital system, but I think that forced implementation is more likely to cause chaos than anything else.  These systems are not foolproof and lead to problems wherever they’re tried.

We may not be able to avoid attempts at forced implementation.  But we can prepare by paying attention to our surroundings, becoming more skilled producers rather than consumers, and most of all, developing trusted networks of friends and family in the real world.

For more information on preparing for a cyberattack, check out this article and this one.

What are your thoughts?

Are you expecting a Cyber 9/11? Are you doing anything specific to prepare for it? What do you think the results would be if such an attack occurred in America?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

Source: The Organic Prepper

Marie Hawthorne is a lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes. Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.

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