Cyber Warfare: When Your Credit Card Stops Working



In addition to signing death warrants for people who have never been charged with a crime, much less ever convicted…the Obama administration is now taking credit for starting what industry insiders are calling “cybergeddon” or cyber warfare.

The US feds got together with the Israeli feds to create a computer virus which, apparently, completely disables a software system. Then, it put it out to work against as country with which neither nation is at war.

What gives? Is it now okay for groups of hackers to attack whomever they please…when they please? Is Internet vandalism now US policy?

If so, you could hardly fault a collection of clever Iranians…perhaps with the help of Russians, Iraqis, Chinese…who knows…for getting together to launch a counter-attack, could you? And you wouldn’t be surprised to find that they have taken key elements of the US bug, re-engineered it, and sent it right back where it came from, would you?

A Financial Times headline tells us that “the US will rue the day” it started a cyberwar. Here’s why:

One of the enduring characteristics of superpowers is that they always find some way to destroy themselves. Hitler and Bonaparte could have remained masters of all of Europe – perhaps indefinitely. Instead, they found Russia! Japan found Pearl Harbor. And now, Barack Obama has found a new area of warfare where America is most vulnerable and where its historic advantages count for almost nothing.

As to the first point, here is a question: what would happen to you if your credit card stopped working? The ATMs don’t work. You can’t buy anything with a credit card; what do you do? Go to the bank? Forget it. Within hours the banks would be out of cash. You would have no means to buy food.

But so what? There wouldn’t be any food to buy anyway.

America’s dependence on computer systems…and its vulnerability to disruption…was well researched and documented in the run-up to the year 2000. The “Y2K” problem might have brought the whole country to a dead stop.

It didn’t. And now the economy is more vulnerable than it was then. If the computers stop working, the whole system breaks down. Transportation…shipping…shopping – the whole supply chain that keeps us going – stops.

What a great idea, to encourage innovation…and deployment…of computer viruses! It is as if a person who lived in a glass house handed out rocks!

But it is worse. Because the US has huge military advantages. It is able to spend much more money than its rivals. It is able to produce more weapons. It is able to put more firepower into the field…and to blow up more buildings and kill more people.

But on the Internet its advantages are minimal. Money is important. But it is not nearly as important in computer warfare as it is in conventional warfare. This new battlefield gives America’s enemies an advantage. They don’t have to spend $700 billion (most of it wasted on zombie bureaucracy and expensive, but useless, weapons…after all, we are in a late, degenerate period) to compete. Instead, they can put together a small, talented, focused and motivated team.

And then, your credit card will stop working.


Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

From the Archives…

The Avalanche and the Phase Transition of the Financial System
2012-06-08 – Greg Canavan

A Financial Crisis that Repels Private Capital
2012-06-07 – Eric Fry

Floating Towards Japan’s Economy on a Sea of Bad Debt
2012-06-06 – Bill Bonner

Pirate Politics to Save the European Union
2012-06-05 – Nick Hubble

China’s Economy… Where All is Not As It Seems
2012-06-04 – Greg Canavan

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
Bill Bonner

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2 Comments on "Cyber Warfare: When Your Credit Card Stops Working"

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4 years 4 months ago

Dear Bill

I always look forward to your articles in the Daily Reckoning and very much value your opinions. However, I disagree with you about Israel not being at war with Iran – I wish that was the case but it is not so. Ahminajab (sorry about the spelling) is threatening to wipe out Israel on a daily basis. It would be the most wonderful thing that the Iranian nuclear program would be crippled with no loss of life on either side and if that means there has to be cyber warfare so be it.

best regards

4 years 4 months ago


If you would so please share where you have read that Israel have declared war with Iran? All I’ve ever heard is Saber rattling from the Israeli’s, and trying thier best to drag the U.S into another unnecessary war (for the U.S population anyway).

As for your second point, Iran has never threatened to wipe Israel off the map even once, never mind on a daily basis. The Iranian leader (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad btw)has been mis-quoted (very surprisingly) by the American press to suit thier agenda. Get your facts straight before posting junk on this reputable website.

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