David Eagleman believes we need a backup security plan for the human knowledge that underlies the Internet.

Editor’s Note: David Eagleman is a neuroscientist, Guggenheim Fellow, and New York Times bestselling author. His latest books are “Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain” and “Why the Net Matters.”

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Like any system, biological or man-made, the Web has the potential to fail

A major solar event could theoretically melt down the whole Internet in moments

Future cyberwarfare will target not only military and industrial targets but Internet connectivity

Almost all global Web traffic is dependent on deep-sea networks of fiber-optic cables

CNN  — 

The Internet was designed to be robust, fault-tolerant and distributed, but its technology is still in its infancy.

The fact that the Web has not stopped functioning in its initial decades sometimes encourages us to assume that it never will. But like any system, biological or man-made, the Internet has the potential to fail.

Monday’s “DNSChanger” malware problem, which affected some 200,000 computers, was much hyped and ultimately inconsequential. But here are four maladies that really do have the potential to wipe out Internet access on a massive scale.

Monday’s Internet blackout: Justifiable hysterics or just hype?

1. Space weather

David Eagleman is a neuroscientist and a New York Times bestselling author.