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SNS: What Will Go Wrong: A Cyber Warning

SNS: What Will Go Wrong: A Cyber Warning


SNS Subscriber Edition
Volume 18, Issue 8
Week of February 23, 2015

In This Issue

Feature: What Will Go Wrong: A Cyber Warning

  • What Makes “Zero Days” Interesting
  • You Call It Adware, I Call It Illegal Entry
  • Lenovo and Superfish
  • Everything Is Crypto, Everything Is Hacked
  • Hacking Hardware
  • The Equation Group: Spying vs. Stealing
  • Enter Regin
  • From Mass Targets to Massive Targets
  • Cyber Vaccines
  • The Secure PC

Quotes Of The Week

Takeout Window

  • A Look at Regin
  • Phishing Trends

Upgrades And Numbers

  • The FCC Does IT



During an early Future in Review (FiRe) conference, I asked my friend Joi Ito, now head of the MIT Media Lab, what he thought of a certain Japanese prime minister. Without a moment’s hesitation, he answered: “BM, or AM?” When I didn’t get it, he explained: Before the Motorcade, or After the Motorcade?

In the cyber world today, all of the answers that work seem to be “After the Motorcade.”

Saying that corporations – or governments – are poor at preventing cyber attacks would be too kind. In general, they just can’t do it.

After an attack, we have a number of firms that are increasingly expert at describing the forensics, answering questions like “Who did it, when, what did they take?” While this is helpful, it’s a bit like showing up at the bomb scene with one’s top detective squad. The damage is already done.

I have recently expressed my personal (and professional) frustrations over this situation by questioning the wisdom of building out the Net, in its current form. It’s kind of like building a road system at great cost, buying a new bus to go from A to B, and then watching the five paying customers suddenly overwhelmed by 100 drug cartel members – with 500 more just behind them, waiting in the hills for the next bus.

Neither time nor the numbers are on the side of the good guys.

Will individuals be safer tomorrow compared with today? No. Will banks, or hospitals, or national energy grids? Not that I can see.

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