|Hacker Virus Scenario
It is the year 2015. A group of hackers known as the Independent Division of International Organisations for Tampering (IDIOT) has hacked into two of the worlds largest International Banks and destroyed all credit and savings records, purely as a demonstration of their technological ability. IDIOT are now threatening to undermine all global-network systems unless their completely unreasonable and rather evil demands are met. It is not possible to meet their demands.
What organisations exist to deal with this issue and what powers do they have? What responses are possible to this? What technological developments are utilised by groups involved? How do safety mechanisms currently in place to protect from hacking affect the rest of the community? What systems might be affected by hacking and what effects would disruption to these systems mean in western society? Would the impact be the same globally or are there local or regional differences? What factors affect impact? In what ways does the development of a 'global society' depend on being supported by electronic distribution of information? What systems and institutions are most affected by the threat of hacking? Is the threat of hacking a real phenomenon or simply an unlikely fantasy? This scenario requires the development of an understanding of the social issues raised by hacking a knowledge of potential problems and understanding of options and solutions.
It is the year 2016. It has been a rough couple of years. Now a virulent computer virus, known as Wide Extraction of Information and Replacement of Data (WEIRD) has reached plague proportions. This virus extracts existing information from networks and hard drives and replaces it with WEIRD nonsense. Governments are calling on users to refrain from logging on to all networks in order to assist to reduce the spread of the disease, and monitoring and surveillance of all national and international networks have been stepped up.
What effects will an inability to use networks have? How many and what types of systems are affected by this? Do these systems have a geographic location? If they do, where are these systems? What technologies exist to deal with viruses and how do these technologies impact on users? What types of responses are likely towards an increase in surveillance? What ethical issues exist within this?
This scenario requires the development of a broad understanding of the issue of technological viral-disease, especially as it affects networking. The scenario deliberately raises potential infrastructure problems in order to explore the social implications that arise from dependence on information technology and to begin to develop their solutions or alternatives.
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