Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Is it war or just a coincidence?

Cupid's foot, as used by Monty Python's Flying...Image via WikipediaUp and down like the Assyrian Empire... as someone once said in a Monty Python movie.

As the hysteria around wikileaks and talk of an internet war heat up, every time a website isn't accessible for someone somewhere there's a rapid and general assumption that it has been caught in the crossfire.

Before you blame 'anonymous' et al, and try retro-fitting why site A 'had it coming', try a few of the following:

1. Remember that the fact that wikileaks is so high on the issue attention cycle means we're likely to over emphasise the impact and regularity of cyber attacks of the kind that hit Paypal, Mastercard etc.

2. Websites crash all the time. Usually we don't panic or look for a cyber army to blame. We wait a few minutes.

3. Then we use something like http://isitdown.co.uk/ which tells us whether it's our problem, or everyone's.

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?