Author and investigative journalist Misha Glenny talks about the terrifying new reality of cyber crime: all around the world, super-sophisticated hackers are looking at ways to threaten critical national infrastructures, like power grids and water supplies. Misha warns that cyber space is becoming the new frontier for warfare between nations. His new book is 'Darkmarket: How Hackers Became the New Mafia'.
He's in the red chair tonight, along with Adrian Grenier and Tiffany Sudela-Junker.
On how a computer virus changed the way nations conduct warfare:
At the moment, credit card fraud is OK. If you get "done", the banks will pay for it... ordinary people pay for it because banks put up our charges to cover the cost of credit card fraud... What we really have to be afraid of... is if there are any successful attacks on critical national infrastructures... This was in the realm of fantasy until last year when we had the emergence of the Stuxnet virus. Stuxnet was designed to attack uranium enrichment facilities in Iran, and it attacked the motors running the pumps that sent the water around... it attacked the machine. Had it not been detected, you could have had a nuclear meltdown in those facilities... people say Israel did it, but people also say the technology was developed in the United States and the Israelis nicked it, and some people say the Chinese created it - I couldn't possibly comment... but as soon as that happened, countries around the world starting developing "cyber offensive capabilities", and that frightens me.