If you watch enough movies like I do then you will see that the people who make them have a big imagination. The stuff that they come up with makes a good story but usually is not possible in real life. This is especially true in how Hollywood portrays computer viruses and other types of malware. In the movies the malware is always being used as a life threatening issue. But in real life that is hardly ever the case. Well, that used to be true. We are starting to see more and more where computer malware has either cost someone their life or it could have.
There have been several examples in real life where malware has been used for the most nefarious purposes of all. It is one thing when you are using malware to steal from people, but it is quite another when it is being used to actually kill someone.
For example, it has been reported that malware was installed into a nuclear installation site in Iran causing the death of 21 people. The malware made the computer read out something different than it was supposed to and that caused an explosion to happen. This was the second case of malware being found in the Iran nuclear facilities in just as many years.
But there are also cases where malware was put into machines and accidentally caused harm. For example, there was a hacker who made a worm that propagated itself on the internet to several thousand machines. Unfortunately for the black hat hacker and the victims, some of the computers that it hijacked belonged to a hospital. The machines that were infected monitored some life saving functions and when the machines went haywire some of those functions were compromised. No one died from the incident but there were some people who were seriously hurt.
These are not two isolated incidents at all. There have been many more incidents like this over the years. Computer problems have always caused issues and these issues have caused people to get hurt. The Toyota braking problem is an example of that. But targeted attacks are a different story all together. When someone is trying to damage the system and it ends up killing someone, now we are on a different playing field.