The reverse salient

Perhaps it's time we added another military metaphor to those already in circulation around the hacker - the reverse salient

If an offensive line is advancing against an enemy line, the test of its strength is the consistency of its forward movement. A reverse salient is a point along the line that falls behind the progress of the whole, thus exposing the weakness not only to the enemy, but also to the line itself. The forces can then be redistributed to account for and correct the weakness.

Technology progresses in a similar way, being added to, improved, and strengthened at precisely the points where its weaknesses are shown to be greatest. Looking beyond the inconveniences of the DoS attacks and the potential losses incurred under other more serious incidents, there is a distinct benefit to be considered.

The hackers exposed overlooked weaknesses in already existing security and tracking systems. Those under attack were, fortunately, not asleep at the wheel, and worked quickly to resolve the situations. Would this have happened if the attacks had not occurred? For all the potential crimes that could take place online, there must be a matching security measure. And as hackers become more and more adept at breaching security, so too will the integrity of system defence improve.

Instead of vilifying the hacker as a cyber terrorist, we could instead look at them as mere agents of change. What appears to be a bane can become a great boon -- the elimination of old, weak technologies in favour of new, stronger models.

It's Internet Darwinism at its finest.

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