This article is part of the Ukraine in the crosshairs numerical issue.
The current conflict between Russia and Ukraine is tragic and has global implications. Everything is played out in real time on the Internet and in the news. Although these events are very important for everyone, it is better to leave the coverage of them from a political and human point of view to other publications. We will continue to focus on the evolving situation as it has a technical impact on our readership, and we will highlight articles from other sister publications that you find useful.
That said, the implications for designers and developers can be significant and long term. Russia and its allies, along with Ukraine and Europe, provide products, resources and human expertise that are used around the world. Our global supply chain has already been disrupted by COVID-19 and this is just adding to an already broken system that was beginning to recover.
Take, for example, the butterfly effect of needing a tool that needs a component built by a special machine with software written by someone affected by the conflict. This is just one example of how something you think is being taken away from you could have a major consequence. Counterfeiting and global shortages of electronic components is something we cover.
The greatest impact of war is physical, with weapons like tanks and guns causing death and damage in local locations. However, the use of cyber warfare in this conflict is global. Initial and obvious targets such as military command and control are currently under attack from cyberattacks, but cybersecurity is even more important these days.
Sanctions such as the ban on Russia using the SWIFT banking communication system highlight the electronic aspect of this conflict. Russia may turn to cryptocurrency in the future, with implications ranging from crypto-farming hardware to its impact on the availability of other electronic devices. Likewise, cryptocurrency-related cyberattacks could disrupt other systems on the Internet.
This conflict is unlikely to end well, and the human cost is already terrible.