The Internet is about 20 years old, yet we depend on it as if it was an amendment under the Bill of Rights. It has given a quantum leap in knowledge to half of the world’s population. Probably each one of us is concerned about content, speed and how it changes all facets of our lives including our jobs. The pace of change seems to be accelerating.

I have taken very small excerpts from the well written articles listed below. They are probably the most frightening articles I have read in 10 years. We can safely presume many more hacks and viruses have made their way into our computers without becoming public knowledge. The full articles below are available on Wired Magazine and the Wall Street Journal online or mobile. Search the title and publisher for the full article (a subscription may be required to view the full articles).

The . . . hackers . . . broke into supposedly secure, “air-gapped or isolated networks owned by utilities with relative ease by first penetrating the networks of key vendors. . . “They got to the point where they could have thrown switches” and disrupted power flows, . . .

The Code That Crashed the World, Wired Magazine
Ukraine and Russia have been in an undeclared war for five years. Bent on destruction Russia released a fast spreading malware called “NotPetya” along with a penetration tool called “EternalBlue” created by the NSA. Maersks, one of the top  shipping companies in the world, operates in 130 countries was an unintentional victim when it spread to their computers:

I saw a wave of screens turning black. Black, black, black. The digital phones in every cubicle too, had been rendered useless . . . stopped to refuel his car and found that the gas station’s credit card payment system had been taken out by NotPetya too. . . “They couldn’t get their containers in and out of the gate . . . Soon hundreds of 18-wheelers were backed up in a line that stretched for miles outside the terminal. . . The result was more than $10 billion in total damages . . .

What happens if the Internet stops?

 I would imagine a small population segment will go into a catatonic state until it is fixed. There will probably be no GPS so planes will land and drivers will get lost. All systems associated with a computer network are subject to at least a temporary failure. The intentional destruction of war has been part of history for thousands of years. The next war will be likely centered around hacks, viruses, and destruction of the internet and satellites.

I have visited Russia and love the country and the people I met. They have a huge heart produced by sorrow and tragedy we can only imagine by studying history. You can safely assume that hacking isn’t limited to one country. The U.S., China, North Korea and many more countries are quite talented when it comes to manipulating the Internet and its dependencies.

All radio is critically important until we have weathered a few major Internet failures and the already identified threats have been successfully mended. In the meantime, I would follow FEMA’s survival check list. I would also have a CC Skywave SSB radio (the SSB radio is currently out of stock, estimated due date is late February) because it has Single Side Band which works for long distance listening when everything else is down. This is the root reason the SSB model was developed. It also gets your local stations, weather, aviation and shortwave.

Do you have a plan if the Internet goes down? Please share in the comments below some thoughtful tips with others.