Understanding ‘cyber-attack’

The recent NHS cyber-attack’was obviously bad news and a serious worry for many people, but across the news coverage that I heard, watched and read, and in conversation about it with friends and family, I was intrigued by how multifaceted it all became from a news and information angle.

Partly, it’s the Murray Gell Mann effect (which I’ve written about before), meaning that I know enough about the subject to notice when news stories aren’t really on point, and so I predict, actually causing even more confusion for those that know nothing. But that’s just on the subject of understanding what happened technically. And why.

Institutionally, historically and financially, there are whole other angles to the story, and each has its own bias and finger pointing perspectives. Then there are the ‘so what happens next’ and ‘how do we stop it happening in the future’ facets. Each, again, involving technical, practical, political, economic and social ramifications.

I don’t know. I’ve felt like there’s been little for me to add to the comments I’ve seen on Twitter and the news stories that I’ve read online, but today this great WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack: Your questions answered article from the BBC, has spurred me into sharing it, at least.

And if you take only one thing personally from that, then let it be Prof Woodward’s ABC advice, to “… assume nothing, believe no-one, check everything,” when it comes to your own online security.