Hackers: Coming Soon to a PC Near You

Of course, there's the ongoing nightmare of Sony and its many hacks, including at least one performed by these very same Lulzers. Those, you may recall, started as revenge for Sony going medieval on two PlayStation 3 hackers who posted jailbreak code that allowed PS3 fans to install unapproved and/or pirated software. I bet Sony is sorry now it didn't pursue a more nuanced solution to its PS3 problems.

Hackers: Coming Soon to a PC Near You
There's a lesson here: Don't screw up. Ever.

Write a blog post someone disagrees with? Get hacked.

Cut somebody off in traffic? Get hacked.

Wear plaid shorts with a striped shirt? Get hacked.

This would be funny (at least, to those of us who weren't hacked) if it weren't also becoming deadly serious. The Pentagon is about to reclassify hack attacks from foreign entities as acts of war and will respond with physical force to virtual attacks as needed. Per the Wall Street Journal's Siobhan Gorman and Julian E. Barnes:

"One idea gaining momentum at the Pentagon is the notion of 'equivalence.' If a cyber attack produces the death, damage, destruction or high-level disruption that a traditional military attack would cause, then it would be a candidate for a 'use of force' consideration, which could merit retaliation.....

'If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,' said a military official."

I don't think it's a big leap to assume that if the Pentagon is going to respond with force to hack attacks, the cops won't be far behind. I think over the next few years we'll see legislation making hacking a much more serious crime than it already is and offering local law enforcement more resources to fight it.

In other words, if you're hacking, you'd better also be packin' -- a suitcase, at the very least, if not some heat.

In the meantime, welcome to the era of PO'd script kiddies with an ax to grind. Watch your step and buckle your seat belts, it's going to get bumpy.

Ever been hacked? Share your tale of woe below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "Hackers: Coming soon to a PC near you," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringeley's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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