Anyone who has seen me present or has been a student in my class is familiar with the matrix below. In fact, this matrix was the guiding principle for an entire conference session in Sweden 18 months ago and I’ve briefed on it least 300 times to thousands of people.


Now read this article:

SCOTLAND YARD has uncovered evidence that Al-Qaeda has been plotting to bring down the internet in Britain, causing chaos to business and the London Stock Exchange. Link —>

This is the beginning of what will be an interesting trend as some emergent terrorist cells push the boundaries and decide to engage in physical attacks on financial infrastructures. When you are in Nigeria all your targets look like oil pipelines, so when you are in London, what do you targets look like if your intention is to wage economic terrorism?

Richard Clarke even has a recent book where the founding premise is a series of attacks on the U.S. Internet infrastructure. It isn’t a bad read, even with the obvious Soxster = Mudge parallels.


6 Responses to “Physical attacks against digital targets”

  1. Administrator says:

    The lack of technical advancement is not all that surprising, but keep in mind various cells will have different capabilities. Boom works, it is the evolution of targeting that clearly falls into the original intent of the matrix above.

  2. Michael says:

    The interesting thing to me is that they’re aiming at the physical. They haven’t evolved technically much at all, which is fodder for the non-believers (so to speak). When in doubt, go with what you know, and they know from making things go ‘boom’.

  3. Administrator says:

    I agree that there is a certain sense of silliness in the article. What matters is not whether they could actually launch this attack, but that they are thinking of it and that indicates a change in targeting on the intent side (if not the capability side).

  4. Michael says:

    Bruce doesn’t believe it:

    But then that’s not saying much. 😉

  5. Matt Devost says:

    Thanks Karoli and welcome aboard. Following the traffic at SXSW it looks like Twitter Groups will be coming which will really enable the homeland security application I discussed.

  6. Karoli says:


    You have some really good reasons for using Twitter. You’re the only one who really gave practical uses for this application. Living in earthquake country is an excellent reason to have a way to broadcast-message in an emergency, whether homeland security-related or because of a disaster.

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