This is “the most significant threat we face as a civilized world, other than a weapon of mass destruction.” What is the threat? Cyber attacks, according to the former head of the FBI’s cybercrime unit.
The Black Hat cybersecurity conference has just concluded. Experts who participated warn that cyber attacks are accelerating at a frightening pace. Two large cyber gangs, one based in Shanghai and the other in Beijing, have cracked the networks of thousands of companies over the last few years. Still another gang has access to 678,000 infected PCs and is using them to orchestrate fraudulent wire transfers from online banking accounts.
Other cyber criminals are attacking company websites, stealing user names, passwords and other data. Zappos, eHarmony, Linked In and Yahoo are just some of their latest victims. In a world where social media can disrupt coverage of the Olympics and athletes can be sent home for offensive Twitter comments, it’s clear that technology is rapidly changing the way we live. And the way criminals victimize us.
It’s no longer an option to withdraw from the cyber world. Even the Amish have an online dating service and are now selling furniture on a very sophisticated website. What would God say to a world so dependent on technology and yet so vulnerable to it?
Cyber attacks are the latest example of life’s fragility. Five decades ago we were frightened by the Soviet Union’s nuclear missiles; today we fear the rise of China, the threat of another recession, and the ever-worsening drought. All the while, our King waits for us to turn to him as our true security and strength.
Here’s one of my favorite verses, a promise that is especially relevant to this morning’s theme: “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). A prophet spoke these words to King Asa because, in his ongoing battle with the Northern Kingdom, “you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God” (v. 7). Even when illness struck him, “he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians” (v. 12). As a result, he died in failure and pain.
Let’s learn from Asa to make God “our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Then “we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” (v. 2). Have you trusted your greatest fear to your great King yet today?