Stuxnet

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pages: 492 words: 153,565

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon by Kim Zetter

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He also found a massive configuration file containing a menu of more than four hundred settings the attackers could tweak to change everything from the URL for the command-and-control servers Stuxnet contacted to the number of machines Stuxnet would infect via a USB flash drive before the USB exploit would shut down.1 Curiously, O’Murchu also found an infection stop date in the file—June 24, 2012. Every time Stuxnet encountered a new machine, it checked the computer’s calendar to see if the June date had passed. If it had, Stuxnet would halt and not infect it. Any payload already installed on other machines would continue to work, but Stuxnet wouldn’t infect any new machines. The stop date had been set for three years after Stuxnet infected its first machines in Iran and was presumably the date by which the attackers expected to achieve their goal.2 What most stood out to O’Murchu, however, was the complex way that Stuxnet concealed its files on infected machines and hijacked normal functions to perform its nefarious deeds.

It took several days of digging, but when they had all the parts unlocked, they could finally see every step that Stuxnet took during its initial stages of infection.4 One of the first things Stuxnet did was determine if the computer was a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows machine; Stuxnet only worked with 32-bit Windows machines. It also determined if the machine was already infected with Stuxnet. If it was, Stuxnet made sure the resident malware was up to date and simply swapped out any old files for the latest ones. But if Stuxnet found itself on a new machine, it began an elaborate infection dance, racing rapidly through a succession of steps to scope out the landscape of the machine and determine the best way to proceed. During this process, one of its rootkits quickly took up position on the machine to blind the system to Stuxnet’s files on the USB flash drive. It did this by hooking the system so the file names couldn’t be seen by virus scanners—the equivalent of hiding them in a scanner’s shadow.

The first of these was the driver that had been found in July 2010 by the Slovakian antivirus firm ESET and was signed with the JMicron certificate.33 Because the driver was found days after the news of Stuxnet broke, everyone assumed it was related to Stuxnet, though it was not found on any system infected with Stuxnet. The driver was a hybrid of the Stuxnet and Duqu drivers, using code that was nearly identical to the Stuxnet driver and some of the same functions and techniques that the Duqu driver used. But it also used a seven-round cipher for its encryption routine instead of the four-round cipher that Stuxnet’s driver used, making it more complex. This made Raiu and Gostev suspect it was designed for a different variant of Stuxnet or different malware altogether. The second phantom driver was discovered when someone submitted it to VirusTotal.34 It was compiled on January 20, 2008.


pages: 587 words: 117,894

Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know by P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman

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However, while there are key similarities, experts also have noticed key differences and thus now believe that it was more a case of inspiration than evolution. As Ralph Langner describes this new kind of proliferation problem: Son of Stuxnet is a misnomer. What’s really worrying are the concepts that Stuxnet gives hackers. The big problem we have right now is that Stuxnet has enabled hundreds of wannabe attackers to do essentially the same thing. Before, a Stuxnet-type attack could have been created by maybe five people. Now it’s more like 500 who could do this. The skill set that’s out there right now, and the level required to make this kind of thing, has dropped considerably simply because you can copy so much from Stuxnet. The booming underground black market of creating and distributing malware, in which transnational criminal groups buy and sell specialized cyber capabilities, makes this proliferation even smoother and more worrisome.

FOCUS: WHAT WAS STUXNET? “indiscriminate and destructive” Lucas, “Permissible Preventive Cyberwar.” A study of the spread of Stuxnet was undertaken by a number of international computer security firms, including Symantec Corporation. Their report, “W32.Stuxnet Dossier,” compiled by noted computer security experts Nicholas Falliere, Liam O’Murchu, and Eric Chien, and released in February 2011, showed that the main countries affected during the early days of the infection were Iran, Indonesia, and India: http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/media/security_response/whitepapers/w32_stuxnet_dossier.pdf, accessed August 11, 2013. lingering in the wild forever Lucas, “Permissible Preventive Cyberwar.” replacing the broken centrifuges Mark Clayton, “How Stuxnet Cyber Weapon Targeted Iran Nuclear Plant,” Christian Science Monitor, November 16, 2010, http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/1116/How-Stuxnet-cyber-weapon-targeted-Iran-nuclear-plant.

The malware’s DNA revealed something even more interesting: Rather than being truly infectious, Stuxnet was hunting for something in particular. As Langner delved deeper, he discovered that Stuxnet was not going after computers or even Windows software in general, but a specific type of program used in Siemens’s WinCC/PCS 7 SCADA control software. Indeed, if this software wasn’t present, the worm had built-in controls to become inert. In addition, rather than trying to spread as widely as possible, as was the goal with past worms, Stuxnet only allowed each infected computer to spread the worm to no more than three others. It even came with a final safeguard; a self-destruct mechanism caused it to erase itself in 2012. Ralph realized that whoever made Stuxnet not only had a specific target in mind, but didn’t want the code lingering in the wild forever.


pages: 294 words: 81,292

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

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Duqu and Flame are reconnaissance viruses: “W32.Duqu: The Precursor to the Next Stuxnet,” Symantec Connect (blog), October 24, 2011, http://www.symantec.com/connect/w32_duqu_precursor_next_stuxnet (accessed January 14, 2012). [Stuxnet’s creators] opened up the box: Sean McGurk, former head of cybersecurity DHS, interview by Steve Kroft, “Stuxnet: Computer worm opens new era of warfare,” CBS News, March 4, 2012, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57390124/stuxnet-computer-worm-opens-new-era-of-warfare/ (accessed June 3, 2012). Before, a Stuxnet-type attack: Clayton, Mark, “From the man who discovered Stuxnet, dire warnings one year later,” MinnPost, September 23, 2011, http://www.minnpost.com/christian-science-monitor/2011/09/man-who-discovered-stuxnet-dire-warnings-one-year-later (accessed January 14, 2012). the good luck did not last: Sanger (2012).

The device that controlled DHS’ tortured generator: Associated Press, “US video shows hacker hit on power grid,” China Daily, September 27, 2007, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2007-09/27/content_6139437.htm (accessed February 10, 2012). it was built to kill industrial machines: Bres, Eric, “The Stuxnet Mystery Continues,” Tofino (blog), October 10, 2010, http://www.tofinosecurity.com/blog/stuxnet-mystery-continues (accessed June 14, 2012). holes that permit unauthorized access: IT Networks, “Stuxnet Things You Don’t Know,” last modified March 25, 2011, http://www.it-networks.org/2011/03/25/stuxnet-things-you-dont-know/ (accessed December 14, 2011). their operators didn’t sense anything wrong: Poeter, Damon, “Former NSA Head: Hitting Iran with Stuxnet Was a ‘Good Idea,’” PCMAG.COM, March 12, 2012, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401111,00.asp (accessed April 22, 2012). two countries jointly created Stuxnet: Ibid. a joint U.S.-Israel cyberwar campaign against Iran: Sanger, David, “Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran,” New York Times, June 1, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/middleeast/obama-ordered-wave-of-cyberattacks-against-iran.html?

Using four at the same time was extravagant, but it greatly enhanced the virus’s chances of success. That’s because in between Stuxnet’s deployment and when the attacks took place, one or more of the exploits could have been discovered and patched. For phase two of the invasion, two digital signatures stolen from legitimate companies came into play. These signatures told the computers that Stuxnet was approved by Microsoft to probe and alter the system software at its root level. Now Stuxnet unpacked and installed the program it carried inside it, the malware payload that targeted S7-300 controllers running gas centrifuges. The PCs running the plant and their operators didn’t sense anything wrong as Stuxnet reprogrammed the SCADA controllers to periodically speed up and slow down the centrifuges. Stuxnet hid the instructions from monitoring software, so the visual representation of the plant operations showing on the PCs looked normal.


pages: 340 words: 96,149

@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex by Shane Harris

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The new features made it a more destructive weapon. Researchers generally credit Stuxnet with destroying one thousand centrifuges between 2009 and 2010. This was only about 20 percent of the total number operating at the plant, and the Iranians had more centrifuges in reserve to replace the damaged equipment. But Obama administration officials have said that Stuxnet set back Iran’s weapons program by up to two years. That’s precious and valuable time if, as appears to be the case, Stuxnet was designed to forestall a war, not to start one. But those aggressive programming features also increased the chances that Stuxnet would be discovered, which eventually it was, in June 2010, when an obscure security company in Belarus discovered the first evidence of a computer virus that would later be dubbed Stuxnet. Researchers initially speculated that a flaw in the worm’s code (which of course was now more complex, and thus more prone to error) had allowed it to “escape” beyond the confines of its initial target’s networks, perhaps after an engineer at Natanz connected a laptop to an infected machine, then took it home or to the office and connected to the Internet.

But what’s not generally known is that this leaping aspect was perhaps not a bug but a feature. In addition to breaking centrifuges, Stuxnet was also designed for reconnaissance. It sent the Internet address and host names of infected computers back to its command center. Why would any of these features be necessary for a weapon that was built to attack machines behind an air gap, where they were separated from the Internet? The obvious answer is that Stuxnet’s designers knew it wouldn’t stay behind the air gap for long. And perhaps they didn’t want it to. Stuxnet was also designed to scout out networks and computers inside Natanz as it looked for the right target to attack. The contractors inside the plant worked for other clients as well. If their laptops became infected with Stuxnet, and they carried those computers to their other work sites, the worm might perform this reconnaissance function at other nuclear facilities in Iran.

. [>] The president had already okayed: In addition to the author’s own interviews with current and former US officials and computer security experts, information about the Stuxnet campaign was drawn from voluminous research papers and news articles, of which the following provided key details: Ralph Langner, “Stuxnet’s Secret Twin,” Foreign Policy, November 21, 2013, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/11/19/stuxnets_secret_twin_iran_nukes_cyber_attack#sthash.nq7VuMAC.8FWcquMx.dpbs; David Sanger, “Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran,” New York Times, June 1, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/middleeast/obama-ordered-wave-of-cyberattacks-against-iran.html?pagewanted=all; James Bamford, “The Secret War,” Wired, June 12, 2013, http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/general-keith-alexander-cyberwar/all/; and Jim Finkle, “Researchers Say Stuxnet Was Deployed Against Iran in 2007,” Reuters, February 26, 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/26/us-cyberwar-stuxnet-idUSBRE91P0PP20130226. [>] The prior year had been one of the bloodiest: Casualty statistic from iCasualties.org, http://icasualties.org/Iraq/index.aspx. [>] Iraqi civilian deaths: Ibid., http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/. [>] By September 2004: Dana Priest, “NSA Growth Fueled by Need to Target Terrorists,” Washington Post, July 21, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-growth-fueled-by-need-to-target-terrorists/2013/07/21/24c93cf4-f0b1-11e2-bed3-b9b6fe264871_story.html. [>] “This trend presents”: David E.


pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

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security experts at Kaspersky Lab: “Resource 207: Kaspersky Lab Research Proves That Stuxnet and Flame Developers Are Connected,” http://www.kaspersky.com/about/news/virus/2012/Resource_207_Kaspersky_Lab_Research_Proves_that_Stuxnet_and_Flame_Developers_are_Connected; Mills, “Shared Code Indicates Flame, Stuxnet Creators Worked Together,” http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57450292-83/shared-code-indicates-flame-stuxnet-creators-worked-together/. identified a particular module, known as Resource 207: “Resource 207: Kaspersky Lab Research Proves That Stuxnet and Flame Developers Are Connected,” http://www.kaspersky.com/about/news/virus/2012/Resource_207_Kaspersky_Lab_Research_Proves_that_Stuxnet_and_Flame_Developers_are_Connected. a senior Kaspersky researcher explained: Mills, “Shared Code Indicates Flame, Stuxnet Creators Worked Together,” http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57450292-83/shared-code-indicates-flame-stuxnet-creators-worked-together/. diplomatic fight in 2007 over the Estonian government’s decision: “Bronze Soldier Installed at Tallinn Military Cemetery,” RIA Novosti (Moscow), April 30, 2007, http://en.rian.ru/world/20070430/64692507.html.

They identified a particular module, known as Resource 207, in an early version of the Stuxnet worm that clearly shares code with Flame. “It looks like the Flame platform was a kick-starter of sorts to get the Stuxnet project going,” a senior Kaspersky researcher explained. “The operations went separate ways, maybe because Stuxnet code was mature enough to be deployed in the wild. Now we are 100 percent sure that the Stuxnet and Flame groups worked together.” Though Stuxnet, Flame and other cyber weapons linked to the United States and Israel are the most advanced known examples of state-led cyber attacks, other methods of cyber warfare have already been used by governments around the world. These attacks needn’t be limited to highly consequential geopolitical issues; they can be deployed to harass a disliked fellow state with equal panache.

had escaped “into the wild”: Sanger, “Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran,” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/middleeast/obama-ordered-wave-of-cyberattacks-against-iran.html?_r=1&ref=davidesanger&pagewanted=all. references to dates and biblical stories: Elinor Mills, “Stuxnet: Fact vs. Theory,” CNET, October 5, 2010, http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20018530-245.html. written by as many as thirty people: Michael Joseph Gross, “A Declaration of Cyber-War,” Vanity Fair, April 2011, http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2011/04/stuxnet-201104. an early variant of Stuxnet: Elinor Mills, “Shared Code Indicates Flame, Stuxnet Creators Worked Together,” CNET, June 11, 2012, http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57450292-83/shared-code-indicates-flame-stuxnet-creators-worked-together/. Unnamed Obama administration officials confirmed: Sanger, “Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran,” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/middleeast/obama-ordered-wave-of-cyberattacks-against-iran.html?


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

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the only person convicted: Computer Weekly (13 Mar 2009), “Kids responsible for Estonia attack,” Computer Weekly, http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240088733/Kids-responsible-for-Estonia-attack. Stuxnet is the first military-grade: David Kushner (26 Feb 2013), “The real story of Stuxnet,” IEEE Spectrum, http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/security/the-real-story-of-stuxnet. Kim Zetter (2014), Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon, Crown Publishers, http://books.google.com/books/? id=iBTpnQEACAAJ. It was launched in 2009: William J. Broad, John Markoff, and David E. Sanger (15 Jan 2011), “Israeli test on worm called crucial in Iran nuclear delay,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/world/middleeast/16stuxnet.html. 2012 attack against Saudi Aramco: Nicole Perlroth (23 Oct 2012), “In cyberattack on Saudi firm, U.S. sees Iran firing back,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/business/global/cyberattack-on-saudi-oil-firm-disquiets-us.html.

Techniques first developed: Tom Simonite (19 Sep 2012), “Stuxnet tricks copied by computer criminals,” MIT Technology Review, http://www.technologyreview.com/news/429173/stuxnet-tricks-copied-by-computer-criminals. software that Elcomsoft sells: Andy Greenberg (2 Sep 2014), “The police tool that pervs use to steal nude pics from Apple’s iCloud,” Wired, http://www.wired.com/2014/09/eppb-icloud. once-secret techniques: Mobistealth (2014), “Ultimate cell phone monitoring software,” http://www.mobistealth.com. Stuxnet’s target was Iran: Jarrad Shearer (26 Feb 2013), “W32.Stuxnet,” Symantec Corporation, http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2010-071400-3123-99. computers owned by Chevron: Matthew J. Schwartz (12 Nov 2012), “Cyber weapon friendly fire: Chevron Stuxnet fallout,” Information Week, http://www.darkreading.com/attacks-and-breaches/cyber-weapon-friendly-fire-chevron-stuxnet-fallout/d/d-id/1107339.

Schwartz (12 Nov 2012), “Cyber weapon friendly fire: Chevron Stuxnet fallout,” Information Week, http://www.darkreading.com/attacks-and-breaches/cyber-weapon-friendly-fire-chevron-stuxnet-fallout/d/d-id/1107339. industrial plants in Germany: Robert McMillan (14 Sep 2010), “Siemens: Stuxnet worm hit industrial systems,” Computer World, http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9185419/Siemens_Stuxnet_worm_hit_industrial_systems. failure of an Indian satellite: Jeffrey Carr (29 Sep 2010), “Did the Stuxnet worm kill India’s Insat-4B satellite?” Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/sites/firewall/2010/09/29/did-the-stuxnet-worm-kill-indias-insat-4b-satellite. Internet blackout in Syria: James Bamford (13 Aug 2014), “Edward Snowden: The untold story,” Wired, http://www.wired.com/2014/08/edward-snowden. a technique called DNS injection: Anonymous (Jul 2012), “The collateral damage of internet censorship by DNS injection,” ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review 42, http://www.sigcomm.org/sites/default/files/ccr/papers/2012/July/2317307-2317311.pdf.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

id=2076798. 39Jim Gettys and Kathleen Nichols, “Bufferbloat: Dark Buffers in the Internet,” ACMQueue, blog, November 29, 2011, http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2071893. 40Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick, “Stuxnet was work of U.S. and Israeli experts, officials say,” Washington Post, June 1, 2012, http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-06-01/world/35459494_1_nuclear-program-stuxnet-senior-iranian-officials. 41Vivian Yeo, “Stuxnet infections spread to 115 countries,” ZDNet, August 9, 2010, http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/security-threats/2010/08/09/stuxnet-infections-spread-to-115-countries-40089766/. 42Elinor Mills, “Ralph Langer on Stuxnet, copycat threats (Q&A),” CNet News, May 22, 2011, http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20061256-245.html. 43Symantec Corporation, “W32.Stuxnet,” Security Responses, blog, last modified September 17, 2010, http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?

Working stealthily to knock the centrifuges off balance even as it reported to operators that all was normal, Stuxnet is believed to have put over a thousand machines out of commission, significantly slowing the refinement process, and the Iranian weapons program.40 The wide spread of Stuxnet was shocking. Unlike the laser-guided, bunker-busting smart bombs that would have been used in a conventional strike on the Natanz plant, Stuxnet attacked with all the precision of carpet bombing. By the time Ralph Langner, a German computer-security expert who specialized in SCADA systems, finally deduced the purpose of the unknown virus, it had been found on similar machinery not only in Iran but as far away as Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and even the United States. By August 2010, over ninety thousand Stuxnet infections were reported in 115 countries.41 Stuxnet was the first documented attack on SCADA systems, but it is not likely to be the last.

The threat of cyber-sabotage on civil infrastructure is only just beginning to capture policy makers’ attention. Stuxnet, the virus that attacked Iran’s nuclear weapons plant at Natanz in 2010, was just the beginning. Widely believed to the product of a joint Israeli-American operation, Stuxnet was a clever piece of malicious software, or malware, that infected computers involved with monitoring and controlling industrial machinery and infrastructure. Known by the acronym SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) these computer systems are industrial-grade versions of the Arduinos discussed in chapter 4. At Natanz some six thousand centrifuges were being used to enrich uranium to bomb-grade purity. Security experts believe Stuxnet, carried in on a USB thumb drive, infected and took over the SCADA systems controlling the plant’s equipment.


pages: 547 words: 160,071

Underground by Suelette Dreyfus

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airport security, invisible hand, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Loma Prieta earthquake, packet switching, pirate software, profit motive, publish or perish, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, urban decay, WikiLeaks, zero day

Broad, John Markoff and David E Sanger, ‘Israeli Test on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay, New York Times online, 15 January, 2011. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/world/middleeast/16stuxnet.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1 8. Ibid. 9. CBS News, ‘Iran Confirms Stuxnet Worm Halted Centrifuges’, 29 November, 2010. See: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/29/world/main7100197.shtml 10. William J. Broad, John Markoff and David E. Sanger, ‘Israeli Test on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay’, New York Times online, 15 January, 2011. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/world/middleeast/16stuxnet.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1 11. Ibid. 12. Ryan Naraine, ‘Stuxnet attackers used 4 Windows zero-day exploits’, Zdnet, 14 September, 2010. See: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/stuxnet-attackers-used-4-windows-zero-day-exploits/7347 13. Thomas Erdbrink, ‘Iranian nuclear scientist killed, another injured in Tehran bombings’, The Washington Post, 29 November, 2010.

Possibly created by one or more young Australian hackers, it was clever, annoying and a little messy but did no real lasting damage. Now there is Stuxnet which, after WikiLeaks, was probably the biggest technology story of 2010 and certainly the biggest worm of the year. WikiLeaks created an international news sensation on 16 July 2010 by announcing that a major nuclear incident had occurred in Iran.5 This incident turned out to be not a political worm but a military worm with destructive intent – Stuxnet. It seems all sorts of worms had turned. About the same time, Julian was prosecuting the case for peace – a defiant ex-hacker presenting evidence from Afghanistan on the ‘squalor of war’ (July 25).6 The Stuxnet story illustrates how worms have transformed from youthful experiments to potent weapons of the military, and how it is the intelligence agencies who are now the hackers.

It did not behave like the malicious worms that Symantec’s security engineers see regularly. It was not taking down computer networks or targeting end users’ machines looking to steal bank account details. It hit very selected targets. Ralph Langner, an independent German computer security expert who dissected Stuxnet and determined what the code actually did, described the narrow aim as being ‘a marksman’s job’ that made sure ‘only … designated targets were hit’.8 A highly sophisticated attack worm, Stuxnet was probably written by a team of people, and they clearly knew what they were doing. Programmed to monitor, control and reprogram very specific industrial processes, the worm then cleverly hid its footprints as it gallivanted through an estimated 100 000 systems worldwide. In particular it appears to have attacked Siemens’ systems in the nuclear power program in Iran where it messed with the centrifuges in that country’s uranium enrichment plants.9 This it apparently did very successfully, when hundreds of centrifuges suddenly stopped producing the materials needed to meet Iran’s nuclear agenda.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

If they spin too fast, the centrifuges begin to vibrate and shake uncontrollably until the pressure becomes so severe the motors burn out, requiring the centrifuge to be replaced. The authors of Stuxnet understood that no centrifuges meant no enrichment, thus no bomb and no threat. The Siemens PLCs were key to the attack, but the authors of Stuxnet were not impetuous cyber warriors with a pillage-and-burn mentality. They were patient, strategic, and cunning in their attack on Natanz. In the first phase of the assault on Natanz, Stuxnet did nothing but observe, sitting there silently, stealthily gathering information to understand how the enrichment centrifuges worked. The worm recorded all of its findings in a masterful preplanned move that would prove crucial to the success of the operation. It was in phase two, however, that Stuxnet began to show its true powers as the worm established dominion over the industrial control systems at Natanz.

A network of human agents, engineers, and maintenance workers—spies and unwitting accomplices alike—would have to be assembled and choreographed with tremendous precision if the plan were to succeed. The weapon of choice for this covert operation? A USB thumb drive. To sabotage the centrifuges at Natanz, a new class of cyber weapon was created, one that could leap from the virtual world of computers and enter the physical world of industrial control systems. Enter Stuxnet, a highly sophisticated computer worm widely believed to have been created by the United States and Israel to keep a notorious foe in check. The authors of Stuxnet copied the worm onto a simple USB flash drive, now locked and loaded, ready to seek out its quarry. How the drive came to be smuggled into Natanz and who inserted it into the computer network at the facility remain unknown, even today. What is known, however, is how quickly the malware spread across the IT infrastructure of the plant.

As it turned out, the Iranians had placed too much trust in the computer screens governing their prized secretive nuclear enrichment site. The data logging and computer recording of the industrial control systems stealthily perpetrated by the Stuxnet worm in phase one of the attack had a clear, if not immediately obvious, purpose: to fully document what the Siemens PLCs looked like when they were in full, proper working order. Rotors spinning according to plan and pressure at expected levels yielded all systems go, all maintenance lights green. Stuxnet captured all of those data and recorded it on the PLC equivalent of a VCR, carefully saved for posterity. What happened next was straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster, portrayed many times in films such as Ocean’s Eleven and National Treasure.


pages: 322 words: 84,752

Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up by Philip N. Howard

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, Brian Krebs, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, digital map, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, national security letter, Network effects, obamacare, Occupy movement, packet switching, pension reform, prediction markets, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

The list of state-sponsored viruses is growing. One attack crippled the world’s most valuable company, the $10 trillion Saudi oil firm Aramco. Hackers wiped out data on three-quarters of the company’s computers.9 The attack was probably launched by Iran, and it came on a carefully chosen day when the impact would be severe. Stuxnet, the virus that crippled Iran’s uranium enrichment centrifuges, was probably developed by the United States and Israel.10 The same team that produced Stuxnet probably also produced the viruses Flame and Gauss, all of which have some shared code.11 These more recent viruses have basic data-mining goals, and Gauss seems to be targeting Lebanese banks. China is only one of several countries that have a full-time, professional cohort of hackers who aggressively attack information infrastructure in other countries and steal intellectual property.

Erik Kirschbaum, “Snowden Says NSA Engages in Industrial Espionage: TV,” Reuters, January 26, 2014, accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/26/us-security-snowden-germany-idUSBREA0P0DE20140126. 9. Nicole Perlroth, “Cyberattack on Saudi Oil Firm Disquiets U.S.,” The New York Times, October 24, 2012, accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/business/global/cyberattack-on-saudi-oil-firm-disquiets-us.html. 10. “Stuxnet,” Wikipedia, accessed June 30, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet. 11. Nicole Perlroth, “Virus Seeking Bank Data Is Tied to Attack on Iran,” Bits, August 9, 2012, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/researchers-find-possible-state-sponsored-virus-in-mideast/. 12. Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Wanted by the FBI: Wang Dong,” FBI, accessed June 30, 2014, http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/cyber/wang-dong. 13. William J. Dobson, The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy (New York: Random House, 2012). 14.

Jonathan Fildes, “MEPs Condemn Iran ‘Surveillance,’” BBC, February 11, 2010, accessed September 30, 2014, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511035.stm. 11. Andrei Aliaksandrau and Alaksiej Lavoncyk, “Belarus: Pulling the Plug,” Xindex: The Voice of Free Expression (Budapest, HU, January 2013), accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.indexoncensorship.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IDX_Belarus_ENG_WebRes.pdf. 12. “Stuxnet,” Wikipedia, accessed June 30, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet. 13. “Türk Genelkurmay Başkanlığı 27 Nisan 2007 Tarihli Basın Açıklaması,” Wikisource, accessed June 30, 2014, accessed September 30, 2014, http://tr.wikisource.org/wiki/T%C3%BCrk_Genelkurmay_Ba%C5%9Fkanl%C4%B1%C4%9F%C4%B1_27_Nisan_2007_tarihli_bas%C4%B1n_a%C3%A7%C4%B1klamas%C4%B1. 14. “Turkey PM Erdogan Defiant over Twitter Ban,” Al Jazeera, March 23, 2014, accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/03/turkey-pm-erdogan-defiant-over-twitter-ban-2014323164138586620.html. 15.


pages: 234 words: 63,149

Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer

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airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, Parag Khanna, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Citigroup, 2020: http://www.cnbc.com/id/41775174/US_Will_Be_the_World_s_Third_Largest_Economy_Citi. PwC, 2020: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/chinese-economy-to-be-worlds-largest-by-2020/story-e6frez7r-1225822120372. IMF, 2016: http://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/index.php. 38. William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, “Worm Was Perfect for Sabotaging Centrifuges,” New York Times, November 18, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/world/middleeast/19stuxnet.html?sq=stuxnet&st=cse&scp=2&pagewanted=print. 39. Neil MacFarquhar, “189 Nations Reaffirm Goal of Ban on Nuclear Weapons,” New York Times, May 28, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/29/world/middleeast/29nuke.html. 40. While the IAEA acknowledged “concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities” for the first time in 2010, it stopped short of confirming Israel’s widely known nuclear status. The same memo also reminds us that the United States supplied Israel with the Soreq Nuclear Research Center in June 1960.

Yet these new players balk at assuming the risks and burdens that come with a share of global leadership, focusing instead on managing each delicate stage of their countries’ economic development. This reluctance is at the heart of the G-Zero. NUCLEAR DIFFUSION Few challenges illustrate the dangers of a world without leadership more vividly than the proliferation of the world’s most dangerous weapons. In 2009, a previously unknown computer worm known as Stuxnet suddenly infected tens of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries. Though some experts called it the most sophisticated malicious computer program ever seen, this weapon did not draw much media attention until experts discovered that among its many features is an ability to send nuclear centrifuges spinning out of control.38 As a result, many analysts now believe it was designed as part of a joint U.S.

These trends provide attackers looking to strike at governments or large populations with plenty of tempting and accessible targets. Second, governments themselves are moving aggressively into cyberspace. International politics and cybersecurity have begun to collide. Threats to stand-alone computer networks have existed for years, but a sophisticated 2007 attack on Estonia’s parliament, banks, ministries, newspapers, and broadcasters, suspected to have come from inside Russia, and the previously mentioned Stuxnet worm attack on Iran’s nuclear program have underscored the reality that offensive cybercapabilities are outpacing the construction of defenses. As infrastructure networks like power grids are digitized—i.e., made “smart”—and the number of entry points expands exponentially, entire systems will become more susceptible to cyberattack. Don’t misunderstand the stakes: The vulnerability and the potential value are enormous.


pages: 181 words: 52,147

The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google bus, Hyperloop, income inequality, Internet of things, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Menlo Park, microbiome, mobile money, new economy, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

As high-speed, ubiquitous connectivity among all manner of devices binds us more tightly to technology and to the Internet, a crucial and frightening mega-trend for the next two decades is that cyber security will become a more important domestic-security issue. In 2007, the Stuxnet computer worm sent costly and critically important centrifuges spinning wildly out of control at Natanz, a secret uranium-enrichment facility in Iran.2 In a matter of months, American and Israeli security forces were able to remotely destroy 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges Iran had spinning at the time to purify uranium. The government program behind the virus, code-named “Olympic Games,” was developed during the Bush and Obama Administrations. Stuxnet was the first major publicly reported governmental cyber attack on industrial facilities of another nation. Then, in 2015, American intelligence services suffered their worst defeat in modern history, at the hands of intruders believed to be from China.

Seppela, “Google is working on a kill switch to prevent an AI uprising,” Engadget 3 June 2016, https://www.engadget.com/2016/06/03/google-ai-killswitch/ (accessed 21 October 2016). CHAPTER NINE 1. Dan Kloeffler and Alexis Shaw, “Dick Cheney feared assassination via medical device hacking: ‘I was aware of the danger,’ ” ABC News 19 October 2013, http://abcnews.go.com/US/vice-president-dick-cheney-feared-pacemaker-hacking/story?id=20621434 (accessed 21 October 2016). 2. Kim Zetter, “An unprecedented look at Stuxnet, the world’s first digital weapon,” WIRED 3 November 2014, https://www.wired.com/2014/11/countdown-to-zero-day-stuxnet (accessed 21 October 2016) 3. “What happened,” U.S. Office of Personnel Management (undated), https://www.opm.gov/cybersecurity/cybersecurity-incidents (accessed 21 October 2016). 4. Casey Newton, “The mind-bending messiness of the Ashley Madison data dump,” the Verge 19 August 2015, http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/19/9178855/ashley-madison-data-breach-implications (accessed 21 October 2016). 5.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Such a cascade, which sociologist Charles Perrow labeled a ‘system accident’ or ‘normal accident,’ characterized the 1979 meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, the August 2003 electrical blackout that affected forty-five million people throughout the U.S. Northeast, and many other incidents.1 Second, complex, tightly coupled systems make tempting targets for spies, criminals, and those who seek to wreak havoc. A recent example here is the Stuxnet computer worm, which may have been incubated in government labs. In 2010 Stuxnet hobbled at least one Iranian nuclear facility by perverting the control systems of its Siemens industrial equipment. The worm entered its target sites and spread through them by jumping harmlessly from PC to PC; when it spotted an opportunity, it crossed over to the Siemens machines and did its damage there.2 Until recently, our species did not have the ability to destroy itself.

Chapter 15 TECHNOLOGY AND THE FUTURE 1. Charles Perrow, Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999); Interim Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout (New York Independent System Operator, January 8, 2004), http://www.hks.harvard.edu/hepg/Papers/NYISO.blackout.report.8.Jan.04.pdf. 2. Steven Cherry, “How Stuxnet Is Rewriting the Cyberterrorism Playbook,” IEEE Spectrum podcast, October 13, 2010, http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/telecom/security/how-stuxnet-is-rewriting-the-cyberterrorism-playbook. 3. Bill Joy, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” Wired, April 2000, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy_pr.html. 4. The costs of gene sequencing are dropping even more quickly than those of computing. A comprehensive discussion of the genomics revolution is far beyond the scope of this book; we mention it here simply to highlight that it is real, and likely to bring profound changes in the years and decades to come.

Schreyer, Peter Schumpeter, Joseph science: effect of digitization on government support of prizes in rapid progress in science fiction robots in SCIgen Sears Second Industrial Revolution second machine age: career opportunities in characteristics of complementary innovations in economic data relevant to intangible assets of interventions for key advances of long-term recommendations for mental power boosted by metrics of second machine age (continued) policy recommendations for Power Law distributions in reality of values of see also digitization SecondMachineAge.com self-organizing learning environments (SOLEs) semiconductors Sen, Amartya senses, human sensorimotor skills sensors, digital Shabtai, Ehud Shakespeare, William Shannon, Claude Shapiro, Carl Shinar, Amir Siciliano, Francis SIGGRAPH conference Silicon Valley Simon, Herbert Simon, Julian Sims, Peter Singapore: education system in Electronic Road Pricing System in singularity Singularity Is Near, The (Kurzweil) Siri Siu, Henry Sixteenth Amendment Skype smartphone applications smartphones Smith, Adam Smith, Michael social media Social Progress Index Social Security Socrates software open source solar flares Solow, Robert Sony PlayStation 3 South Korea, education system in Soviet Union speech recognition Spence, Michael Spiegel, Eric Spotify Sprague, Shawn spread bounty vs. in education productivity consequences of in wages see also inequality SRI International standardized testing Star Trek Startup America Partnership steam engine Stern, Scott Stiglitz, Joseph Stiroh, Kevin Stuxnet Summers, Lawrence superstars social acceptability of taxation of see also “winner-take-all” markets Sweden, income inequality in Systrom, Kevin Syverson, Chad Tabarrok, Alex Taipale, Kim Taiwan, automation in Target TaskRabbit taxes consumption on economic rents negative income payroll Pigovian value-added Tea Party technological progress adjusting to combinatorial nature of digitization in economic theories about employment implications of exponential nature of; see also innovation; Moore’s Law future of halting of interventions suggested for side effects of technology: in developing world history of major advances in see also digitization; general purpose technologies (GPTs) Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre teraflop Terenzini, Patrick Thackeray, William Makepeace Theory of Economic Development, The (Schumpeter) Thrun, Sebastian Time Tinbergen, Jan Tobin, James Tolkien, J.


pages: 326 words: 103,170

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo

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Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, packet switching, Paul Graham, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Vernor Vinge, zero day

Complex Software Systems,” ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review—Proceedings of the 2006 EuroSys Conference 40, no. 4 (October 2006): 295 “We are not experts”: Stephen Cobb and Andrew Lee, “Malware Is Called Malicious for a Reason: The Risks of Weaponizing Code,” in 6th International Conference on Cyber Conflict: Proceedings 2014, ed. Pascal Brangetto, Markus Maybaum, and Jan Stinissen (Tallinn, Estonia: NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence Publications, 2014), 71–82. And “Stuxnet: Tsunami of Stupid or Evil Genius?” (June 1, 2012) by Ali-Reza Anghaie at http://infosecisland.com/blogview/21507-Stuxnet-Tsunami-of-Stupid-or-Evil-Genius.html. What makes a city: Colin McFarlane, “The Geographies of Urban Density: Topology, Politics, and the City,” Progress in Human Geography (October 7, 2015): 2. Such a possibility: Lindner and Gaycken, “Back to Basics,” 58. “Read over and over”: Napoleon I, “The Military Maxims of Napoleon,” in Roots of Strategy: The 5 Greatest Military Classics of All Time, ed.

They don’t work in public or compete in hotel ballrooms. They don’t brag. And they develop ideas that make $225,000 look paltry. These successors to the warez dudes work for cybercriminal billionaires, for intelligence agencies, and even (often) just for themselves. They help find and deploy the sorts of really deep system exploits that enable brazen cyberthefts of millions of pieces of personal data or attacks such as the Stuxnet virus, which caused thousands of Iranian nuclear centrifuges to vibrate themselves apart. And they do still more: Most of the attacks we’ve talked about so far occur in installed, running boxes. But the companies that make those boxes oversee a whole process of design, testing, manufacturing, and installation. And it’s on that path, with billion-dollar budgets at work, that some exploit teams make and leave invisible vulnerabilities that they can use later.

It’s also an opportunity for unanticipated risk and “emergent misbehaviors” that defy simple precautions, as baked into machines as fault lines are into California. Not surprisingly, hackers have mimicked the design of the technology companies they aim to exploit. What was once done by a single warez dude is now often handled with a division of labor, technical specialization, and intensive pre-attack research. Every innovation in “righteous malware” is quickly copied and transformed into attack tools. Criminals examined the clever modular design of Stuxnet, for instance, and years later similar features popped up in attacks against banks, credit card companies, and health insurance firms. “We are not experts in military history, doctrine, or philosophy,” cybersecurity researchers Stephen Cobb and Andrew Lee have written, “so we are unaware of the correct word for the following category of weapons: the ones you deliver to your enemies in re-usable form.”


pages: 252 words: 75,349

Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door by Brian Krebs

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barriers to entry, bitcoin, Brian Krebs, cashless society, defense in depth, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, John Markoff, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pirate software, placebo effect, ransomware, Silicon Valley, Stuxnet, the payments system, transaction costs, web application

The GlavMed-SpamIt database landed in my lap the day after I published on my blog the first breaking story about a new, exceedingly complex computer worm that appeared to have been weaponized for espionage. That blog post was the first widely read story about a piece of malware of unprecedented sophistication that would become known as “Stuxnet”—a computer worm that experts later discovered was a cyberweapon created by Israeli and U.S. intelligence agencies in a successful bid to delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But I filed the Stuxnet post just as I was leaving for a week-long vacation with my wife and mother in York, Maine, and I’d promised to give work a rest. While follow-up reporting on Stuxnet would take dozens of telephone interviews, delving into the scoop that my anti-spam source was handing me could be done without letting my family know I was back on the clock. Drake set up an account for me on his web server and placed a copy of the SpamIt archive there.


pages: 466 words: 127,728

The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jitney, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve

. : Leading documented studies and white papers on the scope and pervasiveness of cyberattacks on U.S. systems, including financial systems, originating from various sources including China and Iran, are: “Global Energy Cyberattacks: ‘Night Dragon,’” McAfee Foundstone Professional Services and McAfee Labs White Paper, February 10, 2011, http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/white-papers/wp-global-energy-cyberattacks-night-dragon.pdf; Nicolas Falliere, Liam O. Murchu, and Eric Chien, “W.32.Stuxnet Dossier Version 1.4,” Symantec, February 2011, http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/media/security_response/whitepapers/w32_stuxnet_dossier.pdf; and Mandiant, “APT1: Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units,” 2013, Mandiant Intelligence Center Report, http://intelreport.mandiant.com. The official was Mary Shapiro . . . : Senior SEC official, conversation with author, September 2012. the Syrian Electronic Army claimed credit . . . : Max Fisher, “Syrian Hackers Claim AP Hack That Tipped Stock Market by $136 Billion.

Telegraph, September 18, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/china-business/9551727/Beijing-hints-at-bond-attack-on-Japan.html. ———. “Japan’s Shinzo Abe Prepares to Print Money for the Whole World.” Telegraph, December 17, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9751609/Japans-Shinzo-Abe-prepares-to-print-money-for-the-whole-world.html. Falliere, Nicolas, Liam O. Murchu, and Eric Chien. “W.32.Stuxnet Dossier Version 1.4,” Symantec, February 2011, http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/media/security_response/whitepapers/w32_stuxnet_dossier.pdf. Farchy, Jack. “Iran Bought Gold to Cut Dollar Exposure.” Financial Times, March 20, 2011, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc350008-5325-11e0-86e6-00144feab49a.html. Farchy, Jack, and Roula Khalaf. “Gold Key to Financing Gaddafi Struggle.” Financial Times, March 21, 2011, http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/588ce75a-53e4-11e0-8bd7-00144feab49a.html.


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The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

In this large-scale bandwidth, provision and access becomes a core spatial planning strategy, whether for small market cities like Kansas City, Missouri, the first test bed for Google's 100 megabyte fiber network, or for large market actors like traders who relocate their offices farther down the island in Manhattan to get closer to the central switches on Wall Street and shave nanoseconds off high-speed trading cycles. Despite its global spread and horizontal ubiquity, for Stack urbanism, proximity to the center, as defined by supermassive concentrations of bit flows, is seen as essential. 12.  See David Kusner, “The Real Story of Stuxnet,” IEEE Spectrum, February 23, 2013, http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/security/the-real-story-of-stuxnet. 13.  As well as simulations of all of these, as evidenced by the imaginary ISIS attack on Louisiana as invented by Russian mischief makers. See Cory Doctorow, “Imaginary ISIS Attack on Louisiana and the Twitterbots Who Loved It,” http://boingboing.net/2015/03/08/imaginary-isis-attack-on-louis.html. 14.  The shock and awe of military/entertainment programs is by no means exclusive to airports, but as an urban type, they are perhaps most decisively dependent on its effects.

We will see that this integration of one into the other looks less like Leon Battista Alberti's organismic city, all parts fitting into natural wholes, than gory multispecies nested parasitism, one organism living inside another, itself perhaps living inside yet another, and shuttling energy in and out, through skins and interfaces. For this figure, the City layer is an urbanism of catalytic digestion more than settled homeostasis; its appetites are computational but no less violent for it. The Stack is also expressed in City versus City remote warfare, as dramatized by the launching of the Stuxnet virus into Iranian nuclear facilities (perhaps physically installed there by hand, perhaps inadvertently downloaded), where the software took hold of specific centrifuges and tricked them into malfunctioning but reporting themselves as fully operational.12 This sort of weaponized transurban code is not so unlike a parasitoid fungus, Orphiocordyceps unilateralis, for example, which infects the brain of a species of ant and directs its zombie to crawl to the precise height in the jungle canopy suitable by temperature and humidity for the fungus to fully spore and where the ant husk becomes a factory for the production of more fungus.

A User could be as “small” as an algorithm executed on a particular server or as “large” as the human population of a City combined over the span of a year. A Stack will work just as well with a tight scalar fit between what is situated at different layers (i.e., a human User and a standard keyboard Interface) or a loose scalar fit (i.e., a tiny algorithm and a distant megastructure, such as for Stuxnet). The Stack, and therefore also the design of The Stack, is qualified by these kinds of simultaneities, correspondences, parallels, desynchronizations, mismatches, and phase shifts. As far as geodesign is concerned, that blur between one Stack and another is not a symptom to be clarified and cured; rather, the blur is a high-resolution image of what is actually happening, which itself is blurry.


pages: 503 words: 131,064

Liars and Outliers: How Security Holds Society Together by Bruce Schneier

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airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, crack epidemic, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, desegregation, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Hofstadter, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, hydraulic fracturing, impulse control, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, iterative process, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Julian Assange, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, patent troll, phenotype, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, security theater, shareholder value, slashdot, statistical model, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, traffic fines, transaction costs, ultimatum game, UNCLOS, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y2K, zero-sum game

new type of grifter David Maurer (1940), The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man, Bobbs Merrill. Other cities followed J.L. Lyman (1964), “The Metropolitan Police Act of 1829: An Analysis of Certain Events Influencing the Passage and Character of the Metropolitan Police Act in England,” The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, & Police Science, 55:141–54. Internet worm Stuxnet Kim Zetter (2011), “How Digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet, the Most Menacing Malware in History,” Threat Level blog, Wired.com. salami attacks Michael E. Kabay (24 Jul 2002), “Salami Fraud,” Network World. just use software Bruce Schneier (2000), Secrets & Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World, John Wiley & Sons. delayed publishing Eric Lichtblau (26 Mar 2008), “The Education of a 9/11 Reporter: The Inside Drama Behind the Times' Warrantless Wiretapping Story,” Slate.

We've already seen several manifestations of this: the global financial crisis, international terrorism, and cyberspace fraud. We've seen music and movie piracy grow from a minor annoyance to an international problem due to the ease of distributing pirated content on the Internet. We've seen Internet worms progress from minor annoyances to criminal tools to military-grade weapons that cause real-world damage, like the Internet worm Stuxnet, the first military-grade cyberweapon the public has seen. All this has come about because information technology increases the scope of defection in several ways: Migration of all data onto the Internet. As data moves onto computer networks, there are more—and, more importantly, different—risks. The security that worked when the systems were manual, or housed on computers not attached to a global network, no longer works.3 Technological mediation of social systems.


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

“US Government Hack Stole Fingerprints of 5.6 Million Federal Employees.” The Guardian. Retrieved from www.theguardian.com. 88. Symantec (2015). 2015 Internet Security Threat Report. Volume 20. Mountain View, CA: Symantec. Retrieved from www.symantec.com/security_response/publications/threatreport.jsp 89. Kushner, David (2013, February 26). “The Real Story of Stuxnet.” IEEE Spectrum. Retrieved from spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/security. 90. Menn, Joseph (2015, May 29). “US Tried Stuxnet-Style Campaign against North Korea but Failed—Sources.” Reuters. Retrieved from www.reuters.com. 91. Bundesamt fur Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (2014). Die Lage Der IT-Sicherheit in Deutschland 2014. Berlin: German Federal Office for Information Security. Retrieved from www.bsi.bund.de. 92. Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (2015).

More recently, in mid-2015, personnel records of 21.5 million current and former employees of the US government, including 5.6 million fingerprint images, were stolen when the Office of Personnel Management was hacked—possibly by a foreign government aiming to recruit informants or identify spies.87 Other highly sophisticated malware initiatives, likely state-sponsored, have likewise penetrated embassies, research institutes and other sensitive targets of governments around the world.88 The rising scale of critical infrastructure connected to the Internet—including defense, chemical, food, transportation, nuclear, water, financial, energy and other systems—means that not just cybercrime, but cyber warfare is now possible. As of 2016, two major cyber attacks causing physical infrastructure damage have been publicly confirmed. In 2010, the Stuxnet worm sabotaged Iran’s uranium enrichment infrastructure by infecting control systems and causing the uranium centrifuges to tear themselves apart.89 (A similar worm had been aimed at North Korea’s facilities, but failed to reach its target because of the country’s extreme isolation.)90 And in 2014, a German steel mill suffered “massive damage” after cyber attackers gained access to the plant’s control systems and caused critical components to fail.91 Many more such strikes are being attempted.


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

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4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, wealth creators, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

The answer comes from Redmond, in the form of Microsoft Windows, the most insecure and widely used operating system ever. It's estimated that 40-90% of Windows PCs are infected by some kind of rogue software -- viruses, trojans, worms, and so on. The measured level is 42%, for known vulnerabilities. What about unknown holes in Windows, a so-called "zero-day attack"? In June 2010, the Stuxnet worm was found to be sabotaging Iran's nuclear program in a very sophisticated attack that looked for specific Siemens industrial control hardware, and interfered with it when it found it. Stuxnet is significant for several reasons, two of which are worth paying particular attention to. It was built by the NSA's hackers, and it used no less than four Windows zero-days. Zero-days are very rare in theory. For a group of hackers to use four, in a single worm, hints that there are many more we know nothing about.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

This will be an especially significant concern if cloud robotics someday takes on an important role in our transportation infrastructure. For example, if automated trucks and trains eventually move food and other critical supplies under centralized control, such a system might create extreme vulnerabilities. There is already great concern about the vulnerability of industrial machinery, and of vital infrastructure like the electrical grid, to cyber attack. That vulnerability was demonstrated by the Stuxnet worm that was created by the US and Israeli governments in 2010 to attack the centrifuges used in Iran’s nuclear program. If, someday, important infrastructure components are dependent on centralized machine intelligence, those concerns could be raised to an entirely new level. Robots in Agriculture Of all the employment sectors that make up the US economy, agriculture stands out as the one that has already undergone the most dramatic transformation as a direct result of technological progress.

See also basic income guarantee Social Security disability program, 43, 262 Social Security income, 222 solar power, 282 Solow, Robert, 65, 203 Sony Corporation, 4 Soviet Union, 161n Spain, 221 Sprague, Shawn, 281 Spread Networks, 114 stagflation, 33 stagnant wages, 34–38 Stanek, Roman, 107 Stanford University, 6, 70n, 182 MOOCs and, 132, 133, 135–136, 142 Staples, 17 Star Trek (television program), 246, 247 “StatsMonkey” software, 84 Stiglitz, Joseph, 203 student identification, online courses and, 136, 137 student loans, 124, 126, 140, 196, 214, 217, 251 Suitable Technologies, Inc., 8 Summers, Larry, 274n Sun Microsystems, 243 Super Crunchers (Ayres), 125 super-intelligence, 236, 236n Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, 201–202 surgical robots, 154–155 Stuxnet worm, 22 Switzerland, 268 SyNAPSE, 72, 80n Taibbi, Matt, 56 Target, Inc., 88, 159 taxes, 271–273, 275, 277–278 Taylor, John B., 37 Teamsters Union, 17 techno-feudalism, 204n, 266 technological change/progress economic growth and, 65 productivity and, 33 S-curves of, 66–67, 68 skill biased, 48 welfare of American workforce and, x technology disruptive, xviii, 66 golden era of, 51 graying workforce and, 220–223 historical narrative of modern, 51–58 investment in labor-saving, 227–228 manufacturing jobs and, 55 relationship between employment and, 175–176 unskilled worker wages and, 208–209 Tegmark, Max, 229, 237 telepresence robots, 119–120, 157 Terminator movies, 22, 157n Tesla, 3 textile industry, US, 8–9 Thatcher, Margaret, 258 “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” (Feynman), 241 Thiel, Peter, 64, 236 thinking machine, 229–233.


pages: 329 words: 95,309

Digital Bank: Strategies for Launching or Becoming a Digital Bank by Chris Skinner

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algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, bank run, Basel III, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, demand response, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Google Glasses, high net worth, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, margin call, mass affluent, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Pingit, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, reserve currency, RFID, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, strong AI, Stuxnet, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, web application, Y2K

McAfee Labs researchers recently debated the leading threats for the coming year and show that it’s only going to get worse: “Hacking as a Service”: Anonymous sellers and buyers in underground forums exchange malware kits and development services for money The decline of online hacktivists Anonymous, to be replaced by more politically committed or extremist groups Nation states and armies will be more frequent sources and victims of cyberthreats Large-scale attacks like Stuxnet, an attack on Iranian nuclear plants, will increasingly attempt to destroy infrastructure, rather than make money Mobile worms on victims’ machines that buy malicious apps and steal via tap-and-pay NFC Malware that blocks security updates to mobile phones Mobile phone ransomware “kits” that allow criminals without programming skills to extort payments Covert and persistent attacks deep within and beneath Windows Rapid development of ways to attack Windows 8 and HTML5 A further narrowing of Zeus-like targeted attacks using the Citadel Trojan, making it very difficult for security products to counter Malware that renews a connection even after a botnet has been taken down, allowing infections to grow again The “snowshoe” spamming of legitimate products from many IP addresses, spreading out the sources and keeping the unwelcome messages flowing SMS spam from infected phones.

When governments engage in cyberwars that focus upon the bank system first, there’s going to be a meltdown at some point, and potentially these developments are far more threatening than those of the paltry hacktivists. For example, just as pure speculation, here is a short fiction about a cyberattack on Wall Street: Shaiming Zheng had finally finished his masterpiece. He had created a worm that would infiltrate the heart of the American dream: Wall Street. Like the Israeli Stuxnet attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010, Shaiming had been hired to achieve the same result on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). NYSE claim that their servers are bullet proof, and can survive attacks that are even more viral and malevolent than those that would target the US defence systems, but they were wrong and Shaiming had the means to prove it. His program would not only find its way into the NYSE system through the back door, via what would appear to be an official trade by Goldman Sachs on their high frequency trading platform, but it would worm its way into the DTCC clearing system.


pages: 339 words: 99,674

Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War by James Risen

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air freight, airport security, banking crisis, clean water, drone strike, Edward Snowden, greed is good, illegal immigration, income inequality, large denomination, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Stuxnet, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

In one op-ed, he argued that cyberwar “mirrors the nuclear challenge in terms of the potential economic and psychological effects.” But a fact rarely mentioned in the rush to grant the NSA more power over cybersecurity—and greater access to the Internet—is that the NSA is now one of the world’s leaders in the use of offensive cyberattacks. The NSA has been behind some of the most sophisticated and damaging cyberattacks ever mounted, including the Stuxnet and Flame viruses that targeted the Iranian nuclear program. But when the New York Times reported the fact that the NSA was behind Stuxnet in 2012, the government reacted in a depressingly familiar fashion. It launched a leak investigation, one that this time turned on Obama’s inner circle. Afterword One day in the summer of 2007, my wife, Penny, called me to say that a FedEx envelope had arrived at our home. It was from the Justice Department. Inside was a starkly worded letter from a federal prosecutor notifying me that the Justice Department and the FBI were conducting a criminal investigation into my 2006 book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Setting the locations for the physical servers and routers is the geopolitics of the Internet, while cyber war is geopolitics in the Internet. Cyber war is a quantum type of conflict: Weapons are intangible, their power can be observed but not measured, and there are no fixed stockpiles or arsenals. There are also no laws of war for cyber war, nor is deterrence simply a matter of correlating forces. It is a perpetual war of hack attacks to damage military hardware (as the Stuxnet virus did to the Iranian nuclear program), steal corporate data (as Russian hackers have done to Western banks), or access government data and advanced technological intellectual property (as China’s PLA cyber unit 61398 has successfully done against prominent American companies). The alleged Chinese hack of the U.S. government’s Office of Personnel Management, in which data on up to four million federal employees was lifted from federal servers, shows that data is as susceptible to invasion as borders.

World Input-Output Database. http://www.​wiod.​org/​new_site/​home.​htm. Writson, Walter B. The Twilight of Sovereignty: How the Information Revolution Is Transforming Our World. Scribner, 1992. Zakaria, Fareed. The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad. W. W. Norton, 2007. Zeihan, Peter. The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder. Twelve, 2015. Zetter, Kim. Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon. Penguin Random House, 2014. Zhang Weiwei. The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State. World Century, 2012. Zheng, Y. De Facto Federalism in China: Reforms and Dynamics of Central-Local Relations. World Scientific, 2007. ———. “Institutional Economics and Central-Local Relations in China: Evolving Research.” China: An International Journal 3, no. 2 (2005): 240–69.


pages: 428 words: 121,717

Warnings by Richard A. Clarke

active measures, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Bernie Madoff, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Elon Musk, failed state, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forensic accounting, friendly AI, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge worker, Maui Hawaii, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, mouse model, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y2K

One day they started to spin at abnormal speeds, sometimes too fast, sometimes too slow. The wear and tear destroyed them from the inside out. Yet all the while, the sensors that should have reported the variations in spin rate to the control room showed that all equipment was performing nominally. Thus did the United States slow the Iranian nuclear weapons program for a time, using a hack, a piece of malware known as Stuxnet. Why Natanz is important, says Weiss, is that it showed how corrupting digital control system software allows a hacker to send the wrong signals to a programmable logic controller (PLC), the computer inside machines that controls what that machine does and how it does it. Digital control system software packages are running millions of PLCs throughout the U.S. infrastructure, not just in the power grid, but also in pipelines, refineries, and manufacturing facilities.

., 213 Roper, William, 214 Ross, Bill, 136 Ross, Lee, 184 Royal Academy, 345 Royal Air Force, 10 Royal Navy, 9 Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, 253 Rubenstein, Ariel, 380n Ruby, Jack, 99 Rumsfeld, Donald, 28–29 Russo, Rene, 219 Rutgers University, 261 Sagan, Carl, 273–77 Sago Mine disaster, 129–30 Salling, John Peter, 122 Samuel, Arthur, 381n San Bruno pipeline explosion of 2010, 293–94 Sandler O’Neill & Partners, 154 Sandworm, 285 Sanriku earthquake of 869, 77–81, 91, 97–98 Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), 157 Sarin, 23, 230 Satisficing, 116, 117, 180–81, 319, 322, 359 Savage, Stefan, 297–98 Scacco, Gus, 149 Scanning for problems, 354–56 Scarface (movie), 99 Scenario modeling, 360, 363–64 Schapiro, Mary, 118–19 Schlesinger, Michael, 240–41 Schneider, Stephen, 241 Science (journal), 242 Science Story (show), 226 Scientific American, 278–79 Scientific method, 248–49 Scientific reticence, 79–80, 186–87, 234, 248–49, 259, 335 “Scope neglect,” 174 Sea-level rise, 238, 244–60, 360 Search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), 304 Seawalls, and Fukushima nuclear disaster, 77, 85, 89–90, 92–93 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 100, 105–12, 114–20, 189–90 Security by obscurity, 270 Seismologist Warns, A (Ishibashi), 91–92 Selection effect, 380n Self-confidence, 184, 240, 365 Self-interest, of critics, 187–88 Sendai, Japan, 80, 81, 82 Sentinel intelligence, 3, 16, 356 “Separation of parts” policy, 270 September 11 attacks, 7–9, 230, 361–62 Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph (Lawrence), 57 Sextus Empiricus, 185 Shearson Lehman, 162 Shia Muslims, 63 Shoemaker, Gene, 306–7 Shultz, George, 280 Siberian Unified Dispatch Control Center (SUDCC), 290 Siegel, Jeremy, 157–58 Siegfried Line, 10 Sieur de Bienville, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, 41 Signal and the Noise, The (Silver), 15 Signal from noise, separating, 356–58 Silver, Nate, 13, 15 Silver mining, 128–29 Simon, Herbert, 180–81, 322 Simons, Daniel, 175 Singularity, the, 209 60 Minutes (TV show), 119, 162, 244 Skepticism, 151–53, 168, 185, 240, 248–49 Skynet, 205 Smith & Wesson, 99, 109 Snowden, Edward, 211 Solid rocket boosters, and Challenger disaster, 11–13 Somalia, 65 Soothsayers, 1–2 “Sophistication effect,” 187 South Africa, 42–43 Soviet Union, 25–26, 266, 267–68, 271, 273–74, 277–78 Spaceguard goal, 312–17, 319 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, 11–13 SpaceX, 202 Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, 195, 198, 217, 221–24 Spielberg, Steven, 101 Split-strike conversion, 103–5 SSH (Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro), 289–2917 Stalin, Joseph, 174, 213 Standard project hurricane (SPH), 52–53 “Standing start,” 266 Stanford University, 89, 184, 192, 226, 337, 338 Steam engine, 174–75 Stock trading. See also Financial crisis of 2008 weak AI and, 211–12 Storm, The (van Heerden), 51 Stuxnet, 291–92 Subprime mortgage crisis, 147–48, 153–54, 157, 162 Suh, Simona, 117–18 Sunni Muslims, 63 Sunshine Mine disaster of 1972, 128–29 Sun Yat-sen University, 340 SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 186 Super Aegis II, 214 Superintelligence, 201, 203–16 Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), 292, 293 Surveillance, 359–60 “Swarm boats,” 214 Swine flu, 195–98, 218 Symposium Greek Restaurant (New York City), 237, 252–53 Syria, 57–74 Ford scenario, 65–66, 67–69 slippery slope of intervention, 70–74 Syrian Civil War, 60–61, 62–64, 72–73 Szostak, Jack, 327 Tactical nuclear weapons, 267–69 “Take It Easy” (song), 305 Tamiflu, 225, 233 Taubenberger, Jeffery, 222 Team Louisiana Report, 55 Technical expertise, 182–83 Technological evolution, 212–13 Technological singularity, 209 Tectonic plates, 80, 81 “Tells,” 25–27, 29–30, 36–37 Tenet, George, 8 Terminator, The (movie), 205 Tesla, 202 Tetlock, Philip, 13–15 Thierry de la Villehuchet, René, 102–3, 109, 113 “Tickling the dragon’s tail,” 83 Titan III rockets, 11–12 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011, 81–82, 84–85 Tohoku Electric Power Co., 91 Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), 76–78, 86–98, 92–98 Toon, Owen, 273, 278–79 Trenberth, Kevin, 253 Troy, 1–2 Truman, Harry, 127 TTAPS, 273–77 Tunguska event, 301–3, 316 Tunisia, 57, 58 Turco, Richard P., 273, 276–77 Turkey, 62–63 Tyrosinemia, 332, 334 UBS, 149 Ukraine power grid cyber attack of 2015, 283–85, 287–88, 289, 291 Umea University, 329 Unemployment, 212–13 United Arab Emirates (UAE), 28 United Nations Climate Change Conference (2015), 247–50 United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), 88 Universal hackability, 296–300 University of California, Berkeley, 13–14, 226, 327, 329 University of California, San Diego, 297 University of Colorado, 254, 328 University of Hawaii, 256, 315, 326 University of Iowa, 238, 243 University of Massachusetts, 296 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 332 University of Tokyo School of Engineering, 92 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, 121–22, 130–37 accident report, 133 Cassandra system, 137–38, 140–41 ventilation system, 133–37 Van Allen, James, 238 Van Heerden, Ivor, 41–55 background of, 41, 42–43 coastal restoration program, 43–44, 53 government failures and, 50–55 New Orleans Scenario, 45, 46–50, 52 resignation of, 44 Veracode, 295 Vinge, Vernor, 202 Vulnerabilities, and complexity, 366–67 Wall Street Journal, 115, 119, 154, 158, 163 Ward, Grant, 106 Warfare and AI, 199, 200, 213–14 Warning, the, 168, 170, 170–76 Warsaw Pact, 278 Washington Post, 243, 340 Waterman Award, 328–29 Watson (computer), 202, 209 Watson, James, 328 Watt, James, 174–75 Weak AI, 201, 210–13 Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), 30–31, 358 Webster, Robert G., 223–25, 231–32, 235–36 Weidner, David, 158, 163 Weiss, Joe, 283–84, 286–89, 291–96, 298–300 West Antarctic Ice Sheet, 239, 246, 360 West Berlin, 25 Wharton School, 157–58 White, Ryan, 227, 384n White House National Warning Office, 355–56 Principals Committee, 29 Situation Room, 26–27, 181 Whitney, Meredith, 143–46, 148–54, 160–65 background of, 151, 153–54 Citigroup downgrade, 143–46, 154, 156–60, 164–65 Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), 315–16 Wiesel, Elie, 113 Wilson, E.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

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23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

Many people nowadays cannot even wire a plug or fix a broken vehicle let alone kill an animal for food or deal with dead bodies. We would eventually recover from any such incident, I imagine, but in the shorter term, chaos and lunacy would almost certainly reign. the condensed idea Beware terrorists with nuclear materials timeline 1995 Terrorists attempt to detonate dirty bomb in Moscow 2010 Stuxnet virus attacks nuclear facilities in Iran 2018 Man arrested after attempting to sell radioactive materials on eBay 2022 Al-Qaeda attempts to detonate dirty devices on three subway systems 2030 Tactical nuclear weapons used in Georgia 2060 25 percent of nations found to have secret nuclear programs 2080 Nuclear development abandoned in favor of dark-matter weapons 44 Volcanoes & quakes In 1815, a volcano known as Tambora erupted on an island called Sumbawa in Indonesia.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Contrary to the past, you may not be certain of who is attacking you – and even whether you have been attacked at all. Defence, military and national security strategists focused on a limited number of traditionally hostile states, now they must consider a near-infinite and indistinct universe of hackers, terrorists, activists, criminals, and other possible foes. Cyber warfare can take many different forms – from criminal acts and espionage to destructive attacks such as Stuxnet – that remain largely underestimated and misunderstood because they are so new and difficult to counter. Since 2008, there have been many instances of cyber attacks directed at both specific countries and companies, yet discussions about this new era of warfare are still in their infancy and the gap between those who understand the highly technical issues of cyber warfare and those who are developing cyber policy widens by the day.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Yet we also must acknowledge, as Clarke at least attempted to do, that the balance of power has shifted away from traditional militaries toward small groups of sophisticated, dedicated troublemakers. Recent months have brought the revelation that the United States military, possibly with the Israeli military, has released at least one and perhaps two computer viruses into the world with the intent of crippling Iran’s slow march to nuclear capabilities. The first virus was called Stuxnet, and was targeted at specific kinds of machines that would be in use for uranium enrichment. The second virus is called Flame, and it has not been definitively linked to the United States, although the evidence is strong. These proactive acts of “cyber war,” while significant programming projects, hardly raise the scale of resource-intensive military operations such as designing, building, and maintaining an aircraft carrier.


pages: 287 words: 82,576

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

Most episodes of cyberextortion and cyberespionage are not reported, and the internet is used with growing frequency for illegal drug transactions. There is also the estimated $20 billion of lost time each year from the proliferation of spam, not necessarily an illegal act but unwelcome nonetheless. Illegal online pornography, often involving minors, is rife.2 It is hard to know how much cyberwarfare is going on, but it was used against Iran, with some success in the form of the Stuxnet virus, and it has become a major issue in U.S.–China relations. China has stolen a great deal of intellectual property from American companies, and who knows what the Americans might have done in return? Companies are investing more and more in their cyberdefenses, and they are reluctant to publicly admit those breaches that do happen, if they are even aware of them. Recently we learned that it was probably Russia that hacked into Democratic National Committee emails and voicemails, ostensibly for the purpose of influencing an American election toward Trump.


pages: 684 words: 188,584

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson

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Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Doomsday Clock, El Camino Real, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, William Langewiesche, éminence grise

Abbasi and his wife escaped more or less unharmed, but one of his colleagues was killed by a similar attack, as was an Iranian particle physicist in January 2010, an electronics specialist in July 2011, and a manager at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in January 2012. Teheran blamed Tel Aviv and Washington for the assassinations, as well as for the malware viruses known as Flame and Stuxnet, which were discovered in the spring of 2012 infecting Iran’s uranium enrichment computers. Flame is lithe spyware that turns on computer microphones and Skypes the recorded conversations; scans the neighborhood’s Bluetooth gadgets for names and phone numbers; and takes pictures of the computer’s screen every fifteen to sixty seconds. Stuxnet infected Iran’s uranium-enriching centrifuges and sped them up until they committed suicide. A Russian nuclear executive summed up that after the fall of the USSR, “the great powers were stuck with arsenals they could not use, and nuclear weapons became the weapons of the poor. . . .


pages: 478 words: 149,810

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson

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4chan, Asperger Syndrome, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Firefox, hive mind, Julian Assange, Minecraft, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, pirate software, side project, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

“He says he’s honored. So, what’s next for Anonymous?” The question appeared have been dictated by Isikoff. The feature later showed Isikoff and Brown strolling side by side down a busy road and talking, Brown gesticulating, Isikoff’s khaki-colored slacks flapping in the breeze as he listened intently. Then it was back to the apartment, and Brown once more sprawled in his chair. “I mean we got Stuxnet off of this,” he said, flicking his hand, referring to an attached file among Barr’s e-mails that was in fact a defanged version of the infamous computer virus that was best known for attacking Iranian nuclear infrastructure in the early 2000s. “It shouldn’t have been available by this federal contractor to get ripped off by a sixteen-year-old girl and her friends.” “And it shouldn’t be in the hands of Anonymous!”


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, functional fixedness, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

Any AI that has abilities in the physical world where we actually live will get a lot of inspection. Plus field trials, limited-use experience, the lot. That will stop runaway uses that could harm. Even so, we should realize that AIs, like many inventions, are in an arms race. Computer viruses were the first example, ever since I invented the first one in 1969. They race against virus detectors—but they’re mere pests, not lethal. Smart sabotage algorithms (say, future versions of Stuxnet) already float through the netsphere and are far worse. These could quietly infiltrate many routine operations of governments and companies. Most would come from bad actors. But with genetic-programming and autonomous-agent software already out there, they could mutate and evolve by chance in Darwinian evolutionary fashion—especially where no one’s looking. They’ll get smarter still. Distributing the computation over many systems or networks would make it even harder to know how detected parts relate to some higher-order whole.


pages: 514 words: 152,903

The Best Business Writing 2013 by Dean Starkman

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Asperger Syndrome, bank run, Basel III, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, computer vision, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, fixed income, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, late fees, London Whale, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Parag Khanna, Pareto efficiency, price stability, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, the payments system, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, wage slave, Y2K, zero-sum game

The Khannas have come to accomplish nothing less than the rescue of civilization. • • • Toffler worship and futuristic kitsch aside, what does Hybrid Reality actually argue? There are several disjointed arguments. First, that technology—“technology with a big ‘T,’” as they call it—is supplanting economics and geopolitics as the leading driver of international relations. This means, among other things, that Washington deploys tools such as Flame and Stuxnet simply because it has the better technology—not because of a strategic and military analysis. It is a silly argument, but wrapped in tech-talk it sounds almost plausible. For the Khannas, technology is an autonomous force with its own logic that does not bend under the wicked pressure of politics or capitalism or tribalism; all that we humans can do is find a way to harness its logic for our own purposes.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

But, promises Kelly, none of this actually matters, because technology wants the same things as evolution, for technology is just evolution by other means. Thus, he notes that “with minor differences, the evolution of the technium—the organism of ideas—mimics the evolution of genetic organisms.” Technology is nature, and nature is technology; resistance is futile—who would want to challenge nature? With this simple insight, Kelly develops a whole theory that can explain literally every development—from malware like Stuxnet to Google glasses—by claiming that this is just what technology wants. All we have to do is to develop the right listening tools—and the rest will follow. Hence, notes Kelly, “only by listening to technology’s story, divining its tendencies and biases, and tracing its current direction can we hope to solve our personal puzzles.” Elsewhere, he writes, “We can choose to modify our legal and political and economic assumptions to meet the ordained [technological] trajectories ahead.