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In the Age of Malware we’re flirting with national disaster

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WASHINGTON – Welcome to the Age of Malware. It promises to be a huge downer and, possibly, a great tragedy.

For years, we have regarded personal computers, the internet, smartphones and various digital devices as evidence that America continues to dominate the central new technology of our time. Apple just attained a stock market value of $1 trillion — the first company ever to do so. This seemed yet again to confirm American leadership.

The reality, of course, is much different. By now most Americans must recognize that the internet and its digital sidekicks constitute a double-edged sword. They provide services that now seem indispensable. Yet, the same technologies increasingly pose a fundamental threat to our way of life.

Hardly a day goes by without reports of the internet being used to undermine our democracy, steal people’s personal information, hijack corporate secrets and attack “critical infrastructure” — the power grid, financial and communications networks, and water and transportation systems.

Many Americans remain in a state of confused denial. We simply cannot bring ourselves to acknowledge that such promising technologies can be turned against us.

The injection of malware — computer software that........

© The Japan Times