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When AI Becomes the Hacker

Bruce Schneier explores the potential dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) systems gone rogue in society.

  • Kelly Jackson Higgins
  • Dark Reading
  • May 13, 2021

For the past couple of years, renowned technologist and researcher Bruce Schneier has been researching how societal systems can be hacked, specifically the rules of financial markets, laws, and the tax code. That led him to his latest examination of the potential unintended consequences of artificial intelligence on society: how AI systems themselves, which he refers to as “AIs,” could evolve such that they automatically – and inadvertently – actually abuse societal systems.

“It’s AIs as the hacker,” he says, rather than hackers hacking AI systems…

Bruce Schneier Wants You to Make Software Better

Producing effective code means understanding more than just programming

  • Daniel Dern
  • IEEE Spectrum
  • April 28, 2021

Security technologist Bruce Schneier has a warning: “What you code affects the world now. Gone are the days when programmers could ignore the social context of what they code, when we could say, ‘The users will just figure it all out.’ Today, programs, apps, and algorithms affect society. Facebook’s choices influence democracy. How driverless cars will choose to avoid accidents will affect human lives.”

Schneier should know, because synthesizing and explaining the impact of technology is what he does. “I work at the intersection of security, technology, and people, mostly thinking about security and privacy policy…. I don’t have a single job,” says Schneier. “Instead, I do a portfolio of related things.”…

Video: Data, Surveillance & Internet Security with Bruce Schneier

  • CSINT Conversations
  • March 3, 2021

Watch the Video on YouTube.com

The recent Russian hack is just a reminder of the continued importance of internet security and how vulnerable we are as a society to ongoing breaches. Audrey Kurth Cronin, Director of American University’s Center for Security, Innovation and New Technology (CSINT), had an in-depth discussion with internationally renowned security technologist, Bruce Schneier as a part of the CSINT Conversations series. Schneier is a public-interest technologist, fellow and lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School, a board member of EFF, and the Chief of Security Architecture at Inrupt, Inc. Together they discussed the topics of data, surveillance, and internet security, including the recent government hack. Professor Cronin also fielded questions submitted by our attendees during this live session…

Video: Artificial Intelligence in Politics

  • Unpublished Cafe
  • February 19, 2021

Watch the Video on Unpublished.vote

Artificial intelligence. The emergence of the technology which allows machines to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence.

What could go wrong?

Many of us were twigged to the notion of artificial intelligence with the investigation into Cambridge Analytica and it’s impact on the election. While artificial intelligence will soon give us self driving vehicles, there is a growing skepticism of applying it in the political realm or public policy making. Politicians consistently rank near the bottom of the list when it comes to being respected. What if A.I could improve on that?…

Cybersecurity: Same Threats, New Challenges

The pandemic created opportunities for hackers to exploit old vulnerabilities in new ways.

  • Jeff Koyen
  • Forbes
  • January 19, 2021

For business leaders, 2020 was many things. A test. A catalyst. An opportunity.

For chief information security officers (CISOs), it was all of these things at once—with the security of the business hanging in the balance. This was especially true when it came to the rapid shift to remote work.

The vulnerabilities of working from home were known before the shift—insecure personal devices, weak passwords on home devices—but not always prioritized. Other threats were given new life, such as phishing attacks that exploited Covid’s chaos to trick beleaguered employees. And some threats were unique to cloud technology itself…

Bruce Schneier on Technology Security, Social Media, and Regulation

  • Devjani Roy
  • GrowthPolicy
  • January 2021

GrowthPolicy. In a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, you write: “American democracy is an information system, in which the information isn’t bits and bytes but citizens’ beliefs. […] When you really need to worry is when insiders go bad. And that is precisely what is happening in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.” What advice would you offer policy makers seeking to safeguard future elections from disinformation campaigns undertaken by bad inside actors?

Bruce Schneier: We need to break up the tech monopolies. Companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google wield enormous power in the market, and by extension in politics. Decentralization brings security, and the world would be much safer if there were twenty smaller Amazons and Facebooks and Googles than one of each. So we need both smaller companies and the ability to move, delete, combine, and reuse data from a variety of companies. Enforcing existing antitrust laws will make an enormous difference in how these companies affect society. And in areas where decentralization doesn’t make sense—when we have natural monopolies—we need to treat them like the utilities they are…

Audio: Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons Podcast

  • Carey Parker
  • Firewalls Don't Stop Dragons
  • December 28, 2020

Listen to the Audio on FirewallsDontStopDragons.com

The dumpster fire that was 2020 is almost behind us, and it’s time to look forward to a brighter future in 2021! By a stroke of fortuitous coincidence, this is also my 200th podcast! To celebrate these two important milestones, we have a world-renowned security guru for our guest, Bruce Schneier, and I’ll be giving away over $1800 worth of great stuff to help you improve your privacy and security in 2021! And if all of that weren’t enough, I’ll also be sharing with you several top-notch to-do list ideas for your 2021 New Year’s resolutions – not just from myself, but from several top industry experts! It’s an amazing star-studded, prize-riddled, info-packed podcast!…

Audio: The Hack by Russia Is Huge. Here’s Why It Matters.

  • Kerri Miller and Kelly Gordon
  • MPR News
  • December 28, 2020

Listen to the Audio on MPRNews.org

It’s an espionage campaign so broad that security experts say we’re still uncovering who was affected and what was stolen.

A massive computer breach pinned on a Russian intelligence agency allowed hackers to spend months exploring U.S. government and private company computers, undetected. Federal agencies like the Treasury and Commerce Departments were hit, as well as thousands of civilian networks. Hackers apparently got into networks through an update from SolarWinds, a software company.

Recovering from the attack won’t be easy. …

Review of Data and Goliath (German)

  • Nerdhalla
  • December 27, 2020

Wie und warum überwachen Firmen ihre Kunden? Wie und warum überwachen Regierungen ihre Bürgerinnen? Wie und warum bespitzeln und sabotieren Staaten sich gegenseitig? Welche Bedeutung hat Privatsphäre und wie lange wird es sie noch geben? Bruce Schneier behandelt diese Fragen auf knapp 300 Seiten unglaublich rund, ausgewogen und angenehm zu lesen. Die über hundert Seiten Quellennachweise und der zwanzigseitige Index kommen noch hinzu.

Der Autor kennt sich mit der Technik, den Gesetzen, der Politik und der Ideengeschichte aus und verwebt alle Informationen aus diesen verschiedenen Kategorien zu einem beeindruckenden, interessanten und besorgniserrenden Bild der allgegenwärtigen Überwachung am Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts. Das Erklären globaler Zusammenhänge, das Peter Scholl-Latour jahrzehntelang für die analoge Welt übernommen hat, leistet Bruce Schneier mit “Data and Goliath” für die internetbasierte Weltgesellschaft. Dabei sagt er unverblümt seine Meinung, ohne zu verschweigen, dass es konträre Meinungen gibt. Außerdem gönnt er seinen Leserinnen in keinem Moment die Illusion, es gäbe einfache Lösungen. Im Gegenteil: Schneier betont die Verantwortung aller Bürger demokratischer Staaten, sich zu informieren, mit den Mächtigen zu kommunizieren und sich politisch zu organisieren…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.