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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Ayatollah Khomeini, Brian Krebs, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Earth, information retrieval, Julian Assange, Loma Prieta earthquake, Maui Hawaii, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day

It may not have worked as well or as quickly as the attackers had hoped, so in 2009 they changed tactics and focused on attacking the frequency converters instead—a more direct method of damaging the centrifuges. Although Stuxnet 0.5 had no kill date and should have still been active when later versions of Stuxnet were released, researchers never found this version on any machines when Stuxnet was discovered in 2010.30 This may have been because it got erased. One of the first things later versions of Stuxnet did when they landed on a machine was check for earlier versions of Stuxnet on the machine and replace them. So it was likely that Stuxnet 0.5 got automatically replaced on infected machines when the June 2009 version was launched.31 It’s also possible that samples of Stuxnet 0.5 were never found because this version was much more tightly controlled than later ones and only infected a limited number of machines.

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.

All three of the drivers used algorithms and keys that were the same as or similar to those that the Stuxnet and Duqu drivers used, making it clear they were connected to the Tilde-d team. 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.


pages: 587 words: 117,894

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

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4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business continuity plan, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fault tolerance, global supply chain, Google Earth, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, packet switching, Peace of Westphalia, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

Duqu, for example, was a worm that was discovered in the wild soon after Stuxnet using very similar Microsoft Windows–exploiting code. Many took to calling it “son of Stuxnet,” with the idea that it must be the next version designed by the same team. 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.

Part of Langner’s original motivation to go public about Stuxnet was to encourage adoption of the vendor patches needed to prevent future exploitation among potential targets in the West. Yet a full year after Stuxnet was first revealed to the world, Langner and other security experts were lamenting that that a number of major public infrastructure companies had still not plugged the vulnerabilities that Stuxnet attacked. The more problematic proliferation path, however, is via inspiration. Each construction and use of a new type of cyber weapon lowers the bar for the rest of the crowd. Stuxnet had a complex infection package that included new zero-day attacks, as well as a novel payload that attacked SCADA controllers, but its beauty (and the lesson for others) was in how the different parts of this complex attack worked together.

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.


pages: 294 words: 81,292

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

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3D printing, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

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.

[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). Al Qaeda’s attacks of 9/11: Carter, Shan, and Amanda Cox, “One 9/11 Tally: $3.3 Trillion,” New York Times, September 8, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/09/08/us/sept-11-reckoning/cost-graphic.html (accessed January 14, 2012).

SCADA has become almost a household acronym because of the phenomenon called Stuxnet. Stuxnet, and its cousins Duqu and Flame, have convinced even the most hardened skeptics that the energy grid can be attacked. Stuxnet is to malware what the atomic bomb is to bullets. It’s the computer virus IT people refer to in hushed tones as a “digital warhead” and the “first military grade cyber weapon.” But the virus isn’t just smarter than any other, it has completely different goals. While other malware campaigns stole credit card numbers and jet fighter plans, Stuxnet was created to destroy machinery. Specifically, it was built to kill industrial machines connected to a Siemens S7-300 logic controller, a component of a SCADA system.


pages: 340 words: 96,149

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

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Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Brian Krebs, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, computer age, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, failed state, Firefox, Julian Assange, mutually assured destruction, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

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.

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. Stuxnet could tell the United States who those nuclear contractors were working for, where other nuclear facilities in Iran were located, and perhaps how far along those plants might be on their respective enrichment paths.

Other officials, including David Petraeus, former commander of US forces in Iraq, have spoken publicly about cyber operations in Iraq and the contribution they made to the US victory there. [>] 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?


pages: 525 words: 116,295

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

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3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Yet less than a month after the public revelations about these cyber weapons, security experts at Kaspersky Lab, a large Russian computer-security company with international credibility, concluded that the two teams that developed Stuxnet and Flame did, at an early stage, collaborate. 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.

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?

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.


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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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.

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?


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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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?

Security experts believe Stuxnet, carried in on a USB thumb drive, infected and took over the SCADA systems controlling the plant’s equipment. 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.

So you will find the same products in a power plant, even in elevators.”42 Skeptics argue that the threat of Stuxnet is overblown. Stuxnet’s payload was highly targeted. It was programmed to only attack the Natanz centrifuges, and do so in a very specific way. Most importantly, it expended a highly valuable arsenal of “zero-day” attacks, undocumented vulnerabilities that can only be exploited once, after which a simple update will be issued by the software’s supplier. In its report on the virus, security software firm Symantec wrote “Incredibly, Stuxnet exploits four zero-day vulnerabilities, which is unprecedented.”43 Stuxnet’s unique attributes aside, most embedded systems aren’t located in bunkers, and they are increasingly vulnerable to much simpler attacks on their human operators.


pages: 547 words: 160,071

Underground by Suelette Dreyfus

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airport security, invisible hand, 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.

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.

Alternatively, a hacker working for the criminal underworld might have used the vulnerabilities to write a worm that stole credit cards from thousands of home PCs, instead of disabling an obscure Siemens controller associated with operating centrifuges. Although no country has taken responsibility for Stuxnet, the media reports about the worm smell of gloating by the US and Israeli governments – the kind of gloating that comes from the pleasure of a job well done. While Stuxnet garnered the headlines, a much darker element of the worm-as-cyber-weapon story has received less attention in the hacker community. At the same time Stuxnet was weaving through Iran’s nuclear facility computers, someone was assassinating university professors and scientists in Iran. On 29 November 2011, someone tried to murder two senior Iranian nuclear scientists with similarly timed bombs.13 Dr Majid Shahriari, a member of the nuclear engineering department of Shahid Beheshti University, was killed.


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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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.

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.

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.


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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, crowdsourcing, 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

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.

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.


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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, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Julian Assange, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, 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

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.

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.

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.


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, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, 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, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, 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, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, 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, 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.

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.

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, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, market bubble, Menlo Park, 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, 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.

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.

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.”


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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, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pirate software, placebo effect, ransomware, Silicon Valley, Stuxnet, the payments system, transaction costs, web application

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.


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, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, jitney, 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: 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.

“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.”


pages: 903 words: 235,753

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, 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, 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, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, 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, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, 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, 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. 

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, 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, 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

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 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.


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 robot, information retrieval, 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, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, 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, 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

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.

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, 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, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, 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, 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, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

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.


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, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, 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, computer age, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, 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, 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

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, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, 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.


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, 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

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.


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, complexity theory, 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, 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, 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 robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, 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, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, 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, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

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.

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.”


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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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

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, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, 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, 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, Peter Thiel, pirate software, 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: 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, 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, 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, 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

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.”


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, 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, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, 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, 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

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.


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, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, jimmy wales, job automation, late fees, London Whale, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, 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

• • • 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, 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, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, 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

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.”