Today I read a news story about a computer virus that was used to effectively shut down Iran's ability to enrich uranium and thereby create nuclear weapons. The worm, known as Stuxnet, infiltrated thousands of computers, but only became active when it reached its end goal of finding the Iranian nuclear centrifuge program. Once there, it slightly altered the rate at which the material was spun, an imperceptible change that rendered the uranium supply useless for the last year or so. Crazy super-spy espionage type of stuff that may well have staved off an actual Israeli airstrike on Iran. The article referred to the process as one of the first examples of a "weaponized" computer virus.
At the same time this is going on, the world is in an uproar over the latest WikiLeaks releases and what to do when the phrase "state secrets" becomes an oxymoron. How do you stop crime as instantaneous and anonymous as Web-crime? And what happens if or when nations or terrorists decide to use technology to disrupt their enemies' computerized defense or information systems? Pretty scary stuff.
It makes me wonder if our next major war will not be fought with guns and missiles, but with keyboards and lines of code.