2028: a Chinese cyberattack paralyzes Thomas Pesquet’s Paris

2028: a Chinese cyberattack paralyzes Thomas Pesquet’s Paris

This summer, Challenges offers you a leap into an imaginary future. We publish, as part of our series on failure scenarios, projections, in re-edited summary version, produced by the Red Team, a team of science fiction authors assembled by the Defense Innovation Agency. Its mission: to publish two scenarios a year to confront armies with extreme scenarios. But also scenarios imagined by us. Like this one. Good reading.

Like every day for two years, Thomas Pesquet contemplates the sunrise from his huge office at the Paris City Hall. Anyone who has been able to admire the Earth from the sky many times – he got a taste for it in the international space station – also savors simple terrestrial views. At the beginning of July 2028, the mayor enjoys an insolent popularity rating: 75% of Parisians say they are very satisfied with their city councilor who quickly concretized his campaign slogan “Space for all” by pushing the limits of the ring road. in the Ile-de-France. The leader of the Tous Parisiens movement does not have time to digest his breakfast of grilled locusts. “Thomas, we’ve lost control of the waters.” The text message from his first deputy, Jean-Marc Jancovici, freezes his blood. The Paris treatment plant, located in the former Orly airport, stopped around 2:30 a.m. Shortly followed by the stoppage of the emergency units. The first clues point to a giant computer failure.

The mayor of Paris immediately measures the extent of the disaster. Contaminated water and lack of sanitation will lead to the transmission of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever… A major risk. At the first symptoms, hundreds of lawyers will trigger class actions via the new International Criminal Court of Health. The situation is all the more critical as plastic water bottles are banned from sale in order to reduce waste in the oceans. Apart from a few pallets from Chateldon and a meager emergency stock of Cristaline in recycled waterproof cardboard, no means of substitution are planned in the very short term. Even if the Seine was cleaned up for the 2024 Olympics, no one dared to drink it. It’s urgent. If the situation is not quickly restored, the entire town will have to be evacuated.


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