Not by terrorists with guns or knives or vehicles as weapons — but instead by hackers who in March disabled the city’s public services with ransomware. The cyber offensive left Atlantans unable to pay bills online, and visitors to the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, unable to connect to WiFi.
And around the same time yet nearly 700 miles away in Baltimore, in a seemingly unrelated attack, hackers disabled the computer system supporting emergency calls in that city.
Both incidents underscored the vulnerability of many public computing networks — and the damage that hackers in the dark corners of the internet can inflict on vital services.
Cyberattacks have typically been carried out by criminals and organized gangs –- but many fear public infrastructure will be an increasing target in traditional warfare.