Jan Dušátko


The unfairly neglected black swans of the IT world

The presentation aims to provide a slightly different view on the security of computer technologies in connection with the current development of the security situation in the World. In contrast to ordinary views on security, author provides his view from a moderate perspective. There is an accent on overlooked qualities of physical properties of the nature and on weaknesses that modern societies have built for their own convenience.

The first part is focused on properties of the electromagnetic spectrum and the use of energy-releasing weapons. And of course, these can affect IT technologies. The described means can be produced and used at certain costs, the purpose is usually to paralyze or disable the target's critical infrastructure. The analysis concerns non-lethal electromagnetic weapons and the known side effects of nuclear explosions (especially EMI - electromagnetic pulse). Apart from the mentioned technologies, there is also another overlooked source. The Sun and its tendency to release charged particles to outer space, with equal or even higher capacity to damage the sensitive infrastructure when compared to human made technologies. Is there any protection available against the mentioned threats? Is it realistic to deal with them, or how can we prepare for these effects? What is the approximate cost of such an attack?

The second part is focused on threas to main communication cables. The disruption of the Nord Stream gas pipeline has increased interest in understanding the capabilities to attack said categories of assets. The reason is simple, the current massive use of cloud services and the electronic interconnection of economies has increased our dependence on communication. Disruption of specifically undersea communication routes can cause huge problems for the whole global economy rather than only for the affected countries. In some cases, it can terminate capacity of organizations to manage their services or production. What does the interruption of undersea cables actually mean? How frequent are these outages? And is it possible and realistic to create backup routes, for example via satellite networks? The other question is, whether physical attack on undersea cables is the really efficient way to go. What if there are other better options available? Can we get more visibility on capabilities of some international players designed to disrupt traffic in communication routes on land, under the sea or in space? And what can we actually do about it?

Jan Dušátko

Jan Dušátko has been playing with computers and working in the area of computer security for almost a quarter of a century. In the field of cryptography, he collaborated with leading experts such as Mr. Vlastimil Klíma or Mr. Tomáš Rosa. He currently works as an expert security consultant at DHL, with his main focus on topics related to cryptography, e-mail communication and Linux systems. He is an active evangelist in the cryptography area, where he is trying to educate the public and also IT system administrators in this area.