Here's our Top Three Digital Assassination Trends to watch out for in 2013.
1. Democratization of Digital Skills 2.0
In 2011, hacking became available to average people through downloadable, inexpensive software programs. Last year was a continuation of the trend as ordinary people are learning devious Internet moves. As the Petraeus-Broadwell scandal shows, many have acquired the skill once used by terrorists to communicate through “drafts” folder in electronic drop-boxes. Unfortunately for them, the FBI and other snoops are way ahead of that game.
2. Shouting Fire in the Middle of a Crowded Crisis
The media, driven by breakneck competitive pressure, is now in danger of becoming a digital flash mob broadcasting misinformation about serious and fast-breaking events. Witness the confusion of the shooter in Newtown, Connecticut, with his brother. The opportunity exists for a criminal or ideologically driven digital assassin to dip into the stream to misdirect the media, and thereby mislead law enforcement and even national political leaders, so they make instant, wrong decisions in the middle of a serious crisis.
3. Digital “China Syndrome”
Criminally and ideologically motivated groups are working now to gain access to industrial controls in order to move from burglary and digital character assassination into physical assassinations. 2013 will be the year attacks on the country’s infrastructure, putting many lives and the U.S. economy at risk. Key target: The grid. Think of Sandy, and the complete breakdown of distribution of electricity, supplies, fuel, and food.