30 September 2018

Click Here To Kill Everybody:” New Book By Cyber Security Guru, Bruce Schneier

Noted cyber security expert Bruce Schneier has a new book out, “Click Here To Kill Everybody,: Security And Survival In An Inter-Connected World” published this month/September 4, by W. W. Norton & Company.Hannah Kuchler wrote a review regarding Mr. Schneier’s new book, August 26, 2018, in the Financial Times. As Ms. Kuchler notes, “the early architects of the Internet did not want to kill anybody.” In describing the philosophy and sentiment in the early days of the Internet, Mr. Schneier, in his new book, quotes David Clark, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as saying” “It is not that we didn’t think about security. We knew there were untrustworthy people out there, and we thought we could exclude them.”

Now, “Big Brother is watching, and scheming and up to no good; and, he looks like he’s winning,” Mr. Schneier wrote in his 2015 book, “Data And Goliath: The Hidden Battles To Collect Your Data And Control Your World.”

“Schneier,” Ms. Kuchler wrote, “describes how the Internet, developed as a gated community, is now a battleground, where these untrustworthy people cause great harm: harnessing computers to kill by crashing cars, disabling power plants, and perhaps soon enough, using bioprinters to cause epidemics,” or worse — a global pandemic.

“The clumsily-named, Internet-of-Things (IoT), which Mr. Schneier rechristens ‘the barely more elegant Internet+, is growing fast: between 20B, to 75B devices could be online by 2020, depending on the estimate,” Mr. Kuchler wrote.. Ths [accelerated] mushrooming….hands more power to hackers, while cyber defenders struggle to protect the Internet,” Mr. Schneier warns. It is indeed — a target-rich environment as they say. As Kirkus Review noted in its review of Mr. Schneier’s new book, “the author argues that individuals must do their best to harden their own security — even as governments battle against encryption, anonymity, and other security measures by claiming the ‘Four Horsemen Of The Internet Apocalypse — terrorists, drug dealers, pedophiles, and organized crime.’ will be the ultimate beneficiaries of secure systems.”

Mr. Kuchler writes that “Schneier, skillfully guides readers through serious attacks that have happened already — and moves on to those he believes are just beyond the horizon. Unlike many in a cyber security industry that often uses fear to sell, Schneie is not a born fearmonger. Uncomfortable with the provocative title of the book, he calls it ‘hyperbole,’ and ‘clickbait.’ But the choice [title of his book] is justified with examples of “increasingly catastrophic” future attacks, perhaps on all cars, or all insulin pumps from the same brand.” Or, greater, more devastating attacks on our SCADA, financial, and critical infrastructure.

“A Fellow at Harvard, and Chief Technology Officer at IBM Resilient, the company’s Incident Response Unit, Schneier is the author of several other accessible cyber security books,” Mr. Kuchler wrote. “He [Schneier] is particularly accomplished at putting the subject in the context of the market, describing how the explosion of the “Internet+” devices is due to the falling prices of compterization. These cheap-as-chips connected devices, such as a computer in a thermostat, or a child’s toy, are usually not secure: they often cannot be patched, any passwords can be easily cracked; and, by reusing code, they risk succumbing to joint attacks,” or more widespread, large-scale attacks, Mr; Kuchler wrote.

“Now that lives, rather than data or dollars are on the line, Schneier believes cyber security should not be left to the market,:” Mr. Kuchler noted, “elsewhere, government regulates things that kill. The private sector will need to spend much more — and, regulation may be required to force their hand.” Either that, or we will suffer a Cyber Pearl Harbor, and then……we’ll get serious.

“In the second half of the book, Mr, Schneier sets out detailed solutions that should be required reading for politicians across the world,” Mr. Kuchler urges. “The challenge is hard he admits, but “sending a man to the moon [was] hard, not traveling faster than light hard.”

“Click Here To Kill Everyone should be another wake-up call. America is the most network connected…..and network dependent country in the world. We are definitely vulnerable to a Cyber Pearl Harbor. What does the cyber future hold. Well, we are already seeing cleverly placed, sophisticated — but fake news — designed to undermine and unduly influence. Sophisticated cyber hackers could seek to take down our SCADA or financial systems, and other critical infrastructure — such as our overhead satellites and/or, military weapons.

Compartmentalized, gated, armored, camouflaged, deceitful, dangerous, wonderful, and resented, they all apply to the IoT’s future.

Denial And Deception, Artificially Enhanced Stealth Malware, Stealth Clouds, Infected Clouds, Armored Clouds, “Gated,” Online Communities, A Dr. No In Cyber Space, Cyber Militias, A Dedicated Off-Net Movement are all experiencing their own versions of Moore’s Law.

The growth of the Dark Web, the emergence of a ‘Dr. No,’ in cyber space; and, an off-the-net completely militia movement may all be in the worldwide webs future. The emergence of 3-D printing, and virtual reality will lead to breath-taking advances in across virtually every major domain in our lives: health care and treatment of disease, fighting wars, leisure and transportation, finance, and so on. But, one also has to assume that the Dark Web will also evolve in ways we don’t anticipate and can’t imagine at this time. Will we see the first Internet serial killer — who can stalk his victims from the confines of his home or an Internet café? Will a ‘Dr. No’ emerge in cyber space — threatening global economies and selling his super malware to the highest bidder? Will cyber militias — form and act on their own — without the support of the host nation; and, what do we do about it? Like the anti-tax, survivalist militia-type mentality spawn an Off-The-Net movement, dedicated to having no trace of their existence anywhere in cyber space? The cyber world is also likely to be spikey — and not all ‘animals’ on the digital farm will be equal. 

And, the creation of a Cyber Weapon Of Mass Destruction may also be lurking in the not too distant future.

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