Computer Warfare: An Opinion This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   In the American Civil War, it was the rifle. In the 1944 allied invasion of Europe, the tank. In the Cold War, the nuclear missile. When military historians look back on the twenty-first century, they'll probably agree that the weapon that made the most difference was the computer.

Computers drive nearly all the military's next-generation weaponry and gear. But could computers themselves be used as weapons? Yes, say the experts, thanks to that category of evil computer programs known as viruses which can alter, damage or destroy files and computer memory, and can attack and spread without their victim's knowledge. Computer commandos could write a single weapon or entire city.

No documented cases of computer warfare exist, but according to a rumor still circulating from the Gulf War, the United States used a printer smuggled into Iraq from Jordan to carry a virus that knocked out the Iraqis' air defense system. Many computer experts doubt that the printer had the capability to transmit programming instructions in which a virus could be buried.

An unconfirmed story states that a virus caused a Patriot missile to miss its Scud target. Experts believe that possibility to be true because the missile could have taken information from a laptop computer that might have been previously infected with a computer virus.

Experts warn that it is only a matter of time before someone, somewhere, attempts to make war using computers. Viruses could shut down a country's entire government, simultaneously striking everything from banks to communication systems to air traffic control towers. A computer virus could bring any country to its knees.

The more technologically advanced our country becomes, the more susceptible it will become to a viral attack. Even so, I believe that the military must be secretly developing an arsenal of viruses. As their technology develops, I hope the military can develop anti-viral programs to protect themselves and civilians from killer programs. u

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 11 at 1:39 pm
i love this so much!
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