United Airlines, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Wall Street Journal's online presence were all hacked today. At least, that's what the interwebs are calling it. Homeland Security says it's not a terrorist attack, that they are three separate incidents, that each is an internal issue, that no one should worry. The companies are saying it's the software and nothing to worry about for the long term.
I'm sorry. I'm worried.
Sure, bad things come in threes and accidents will happen and no one is claiming responsibility but I'm still worried. I don't believe in coincidences. I don't think that glitches, the Exchange's word, are the best description for whatever halted trading on the NYSE at 11:31 am. This is the backbone of the American financial system; glitches seems far too minor a term for something that shut it down.
UAL used the same verbiage, but if I were in the airport this morning I'd be looking for something more serious than a glitch at which to direct my fury. Hand written tickets? Electronic scales that no longer compute? Ripple effects throughout the day, all over the country.... glitches just doesn't cut it.
And, I'm still worried.
If I were a bad guy, I think I'd test out my project before I ran with it full bore. I'd do mini-hacks, all about the same time, looking for problems and ferreting out solutions. Then, once the kinks were worked out, I'd return for a grand finale.
Like I said, I'm worried. I'm flying on six different planes in the next few weeks. I'm sleeping in mid-town Manhattan in an enormous hotel. I'll be in large groups and assemblies and not all of the rooms will have immediate access to the outdoors.... in fact, none of them will have that.
As I feel my anxiety level rising, I breathe deeply and remember that, in fact, I'm worrying about nothing.
After all, they were only glitches.