News: 2002 Archives
Tech entrepreneur Bruce Schneier is one of America’s best-known computer security experts. His testimony before Congress helped defeat legal restrictions on cryptography sought by the FBI and the National Security Agency when an appellate court ruled in 1999 that crypto algorithms were a form of speech covered by the First Amendment.
Schneier co-founded security services company Counterpane Internet Security, where he serves as chief technologist. Arguing that constant vigilance, not technology, is the best defense against computer break-ins, Schneier believes security breaches are nonetheless fated to increase as networking systems become more complex…
A top expert says America's approach to protecting itself will only make matters worse. Forget "foolproof" technology—we need systems designed to fail smartly
- To stop the rampant theft of expensive cars, manufacturers in the 1990s began to make ignitions very difficult to hot-wire. This reduced the likelihood that cars would be stolen from parking lots—but apparently contributed to the sudden appearance of a new and more dangerous crime, carjacking.
- After a vote against management Vivendi Universal announced earlier this year that its electronic shareholder-voting system, which it had adopted to tabulate votes efficiently and securely, had been broken into by hackers. Because the new system eliminated the old paper ballots, recounting the votes—or even independently verifying that the attack had occurred—was impossible…
“That is a good book to give to your boss so that his boss will see him reading it and think that he’s getting a clue,” said the geek beside me at the coffee shop where we were both working wirelessly.
”But to me, this book is just the right thing,” I answered. ”Look, Schneier not only covers all the bases, but he’s a very clear writer and he‘s witty to boot.”
“No code, no real book,” grumbled the geek.
”It is exactly his sticking to concepts that makes the book work for such a variety of readers. Look, you could give this book to someone who thinks that setting up a home firewall has made his cable-modem connected PC secure or to someone interested in being on top of security issues or even to someone who only surfs the net but wonders what dangers lurk there. None of them would be ill served. And all of them would be enlightened…
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.