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Vulnerabilities in digital products: How does this impact the world around us?
We know that digital products contain bugs and this is inevitable with any human work. Their sheer number and level of exploitation, however, is a great concern. Some of these bugs become vulnerabilities which can allow actors to create damage: stealing data, surveilling digital communications or tampering with industrial systems in critical infrastructure or all of the above. Depending on a vulnerability and the targets, effects could be hardly visible or extremely large-scale - creating economic, social, and national security risks. For instance, let’s have a look at the three most widely reported cases, the SolarWinds hack, the use of Pegasus spyware, and the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. They all have different targets, threat actors, and impact, but somehow the same origin - exploiting a software vulnerability.
What can these cases teach us? What role do software vulnerabilities play in human society’s vulnerabilities today? What dangers vulnerable digital products create for different stakeholders and communities?
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