In their 2004 book Cybercrime: A Reference Handbook, Bernadette Schell and Clemens Martin maintain that citizens worldwide are currently living in the “Fear of an Apocalypse Age Era.” They detail a number of incidents leading to this fear.
For example, in her May 23, 2000, testimony on cyberterrorism before the Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism, Dr. Dorothy Denning affirmed that the foundations of daily life in Western society—banking, stock exchanges, transportation controls, utility grids, medical facilities, and nuclear power stations—depend on a vast, networked information infrastructure. Therefore, the potential for destabilizing a civilized society through cyber attacks against banking or the telecommunications systems becomes increasingly large.
Using Dr. Denning’s estimates, Schell and Martin noted that a massive destructive cyber attack—which some scientists have called the Internet Chernobyl or the Internet Apocalypse—could occur any time now.
Schell, B.H. and Martin, C. Contemporary World Issues Series: Cybercrime: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004.