Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Russian hackers may have caused power outages in Ukraine, demonstrating cyberterror; China's off-shore kidnappings

Russian hackers may be responsible for a several hour power failure in parts of Ukraine Dec. 23, according to a news story by Ellen Nakishima. The incident is one of the first reported where malware actually caused transformer load problems leading to outages.

Power was restored in a few hours, but authors ranging from Ted Koppel (“Lights Out”) to Byron Dorgan (“Gridlock”) have argued that cyberattacks (which might come from inside jobs or devices as well as Internet) could shut down parts of power grids for months.

And the Washington Post has an editorial about probable kidnappings of booksellers in Hong Kong by mainland China. That’s interesting – physical book burning seems to be back, even in the Internet age, and China is setting a dangerous precedent by kidnapping people outside its mainland.

Update: Feb. 1, 2016

Fred Hiatt has a column in the Washington Post, p. A17, "China's critics aren't safe anywhere", reporting on off-shore kidnapping in Vietnam (near the Chinese border, where a critic was lured from Canada) as well as Thailand and Hong Kong. What about American bloggers traveling legally in China?

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