Just before the start of the Democratic National Convention, top-secret emails from the Democratic National Committee were published on whistleblower website Wikileaks, in a major operation the FBI attributed to Russian hackers.
Some U.S. officials have raised subsequent questions: Were the hackers deliberately attempting to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump? Did Trump have any influence?
Linda Gray, General Manager of the RSA Conference, speaks with Bruce Schneier on the topic of his keynote, "Security in the World-Sized Web," at RSA Conference 2016 Singapore.
Some people may think the upcoming US presidential election is a Kobayashi Maru, a lose-lose scenario no matter who wins, but which candidate would best deal with a cyberattack that caused people to die?
In an article about how hacking the Internet of Things will result in real world disasters, security guru Bruce Schneier —who is not known for spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) —was not talking about hacks against banks or the smart grid that would cause general chaos; oh no, he was describing hacks against devices connected to the internet which would actually result in people dying.
Writing on Motherboard, Schneier suggested:
The next president will probably be forced to deal with a large-scale internet disaster that kills multiple people.
IoT and cyber-physical systems, according to Schneier, have "given the internet hands and feet: the ability to directly affect the physical world. What used to be attacks against data and information have become attacks against flesh, steel, and concrete."
Indeed, there are plenty of scary possibilities which range from targeting one person to targeting hundreds of people at the same instant; hacking cars while they are driving down the highway; remotely assassinating a person by hacking their medical device, hacking a plane full of passengers, remotely taking control of weapon systems such as Patriot missile batteries, hacking a water treatment plant and tweaking the chemical mix; the nightmare scenario list of hacks that we all hope never happen goes on and on.
Bruce Schneier on How IoT Changes Everything in Security
Bruce Schneier, CTO at the security firm Resilient Systems, is busy examining how IoT - the name given to the computerization of everything in our lives - is changing the security world.
From sensors that collect data about our environment to databases in the cloud to analytics that help us make use of data, the Internet of Things is capable of changing our physical world.
"We're building an internet that senses, thinks and acts, but doesn't have a body, and that is the textbook definition of a robot," Schneier says. "What I want to propose is that we're building a world-sized robot, and we don't even realize it.
Adam is joined by Bruce Schneier to talk about current problems facing the TSA, gun control, and how data and security intersect.
One of the topics that resonated deeply with last season's Adam Ruins Everything viewers was Bruce Schneier's take on security and "security theater". So we had to bring Bruce on the podcast. Bruce is a brilliant cryptographer and security expert, who's written countless articles and academic papers and published 13 books, including Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World.
Bruce Schneier and attorney David O'Brien discuss the new report issued by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University on the issue of “Going Dark,” and the role of law enforcement and privacy rights under scrutiny, revelations of government spying, and analysis of the Apple iPhone Encryption litigation and its progeny unfolding in the Federal Courts.
This year's Infosecurity Europe conference had so many great places to be and things to do that it was often hard to choose how best to spend one's limited time and harder still for many to identify a single highlight. For myself personally, however, it had to be the opportunity to hear one of my favourite writers for many years speaking on the keynote stage.
Whilst terms like "security guru" or even "thought leader" are often bandied around and diluted to the point of being meaningless, few of us mere security mortals can reasonably dispute the influence, credibility and respect that Bruce Scheiner holds as a writer, technologist, cryptographer and entrepreneur. You know that when he speaks at an event like this, it is not an opportunity you're going to get every day.
Governments have a crucial role to play in tackling what he sees as the next big security challenge, he told Infosecurity Europe 2016 in London.
One of the biggest challenges, according to Schneier, is that there is no good regulatory structure for IoT which connects finance, health, energy and transport information.
"We don't know how to do this, so we are going to need government solutions that are holistic that will deal with IoT devices no matter what they are doing," he said.
Systems "too critical to allow programmers to do as they want"
Government regulation of the Internet of Things will become inevitable as connected kit in arenas as varied as healthcare and power distribution becomes more commonplace, according to security guru Bruce Schneier.
"Governments are going to get involved regardless because the risks are too great. When people start dying and property starts getting destroyed, governments are going to have to do something," Schneier said during a keynote speech at the Infosecurity Europe trade show in London.
The choice is between smart (well-informed) or stupid government regulations with the possibility of non-interference getting taken off the table.
Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.
Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Resilient, an IBM Company.