This weblog post has a really fun table contrasting current cyberattack techniques to those in classic cyberpunk stories, particularly Gibson’s stories. [via Boing Boing] The comments are also worth reading – it’s interesting to think about whether the difference indicate that we haven’t come as far as Gibson predicted, or whether they reflect dated presumptions about how technology of the future would work on Gibson’s part. The observations about the types of systems being attacked (focusing on the recent denial-of-service attack against Estonia) are particularly interesting, I think:
Cyberpunk stories: Cyber-attack targets were fancy-pants specialized computer installations accessible to few, such as military supercompters in Neuromancer’s backstory or the AI complex in its climax.
Real world: The cyber-attack target was the Estonian internet, which people used for everyday activities, from banking to email to looking at pictures of other people’s cats with funny captions.