In addition to providing entertainment, I hoped it would raise awareness to the possible threats that confronted the Internet and US infrastructure such as utilities, communications, and transportation. I still hope the book will do that.
My idea for the plot was spawned after Hurricane Fran hit Wilmington, NC in 1996 and left us without power for three days. Then I realized how much we depend on electricity and take it for granted. Think about it - every appliance in your home is useless without electricity. Most people have experienced a blackout for only a few hours, but when it turns into days, it really hits home how critical electricity is in our everyday lives.
I then imagined that if hackers could control the power grid and where electricity is sent it could be a disaster and this is what helped me create Dark End of the Spectrum.
And now in the past few weeks, the Conficker Worm is The Dark End of the Spectrum coming true. The worm is unstoppable. It uses an army of botnets to infect computers and complete its mission(s) and it's purpose is to steal credit card numbers.
What if its creators programmed it to take over the power grid or cell phone network? Would the government and all the computer security organizations be able to stop it?
I predict that the Conficker Worm is just the tip of the iceberg and I see more harmful and more disastrous events happening with the Conficker Worm and its predescessors unless the government, organizations, and corporations heed the warnings of the security professionals and beef up their online security.
Want to know more. Take a look at my press release for more on my statement at PRLOG or download a copy of DARK END OF THE SPECTRUM.
Raleigh Novelist and Hacker Researcher says worse to come by Conficker Worm and Other Cyber Threats
Sources for the press release:
CNN - http://www.cnn.com/
The New York Times - http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/04/01/technology/tech-us-security-virus.html?_r=1&hpw
The Wall Street Journal - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123914805204099085.html#articleTabs%3Darticlarticle/SB123914805204099085.html#articleTabs%3Darticl
ZDNet - http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=3110&tag=nl.e550
ZDNet on the power grid infiltration - http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=16001&tag=nl.e539
Scientific American - http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=spies-hack-us-electricity-grid-2009-04-09
Hurricane Fran photo courtesy of Wikipedia