News: 2003 Archives

How to Avoid Pickpockets, and Other Horror Stories

  • USA Today
  • December 26, 2003


Think sensibly, and act with confidence

Security expert Bruce Schneier takes a much-ado-about-nothing view of terrorist fears. The odds of such an attack are close to zero, so better to worry about things that have at least some likelihood of occurring, he maintains.

“We as a society always fear the rare and spectacular more than the pedestrian,” says the cyber-security whiz and author of Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World (Copernicus Books, $25).

Though not geared specifically to travelers, his new book espouses the notion that security measures involve trade-offs — both monetary and personal. The book maps out a five-step plan to help individuals assess whether those trade-offs are worth it. …

The Visionaries: IT Leaders Make Predictions about the Future

  • InfoWorld
  • December 12, 2003


Q: Will computers be more or less secure in 2028 than they are today?

A: Computers will be just as insecure, but computing will be more secure. Right now our major problem is that computer security is brittle; when it breaks, it breaks completely. As computing becomes embedded and invisible, it will become more resilient. Different systems will work in tandem, providing defense in depth. Cyberspace is no different than the real world: The individual pieces may be insecure, but the collection of pieces we call society hums along just fine…

"Bankernas kunder utan säkerhet"

  • ComputerSweden
  • December 12, 2003

Först skrev han “Applied Cryptography” som snabbt blev standardverket om kryptering. Sedan började han tvivla på att kryptering var nyckeln till datasäkerhet.

Datasäkerhet, säger Bruce Schneier, står och faller med mänskligt omdöme. I stället för att jaga efter nya krypteringsmetoder bör vi komma ihåg gamla sanningar som att ingen kedja är starkare än sin svagaste länk. Här svarar Bruce Schneier på Computer Swedens frågor om IT-säkerhet.

Vad brukar företag och myndigheter bortse från när det gäller IT-säkerhet?

– Människorna. De utgår från att säkerhet är ett tekniskt problem och tar till tekniska lösningar. Säkerhet är i själva verket ett socialt problem och det som behövs är sociala lösningar…

The Best: People

  • Information Security
  • December 2003


Like or loathe him, you’ve got to admit that cryptographer Bruce Schneier knows how to capture media attention. From titillating talks to shamelessly promote his books (including the best-selling Secret & Lies and the recently released Beyond Fear), to outrageous remarks on the speaker circuit, Schneier frequently grabs the spotlight with outspoken opinion and candor.

For example: “Most advisories trade on fear. Most newspaper and magazine articles trade on fear,” Schneier said in a recent Information Security interview. “Too many security companies are crying wolf far too often, and it hurts us all.” Not exactly a measured comment, considering his company, Counterpane Internet Security, is one of those companies vying for attention…

Improved Security Requires IT Diversity

  • Jaikumar Vijayan
  • Computerworld
  • November 24, 2003

In his recently released book, Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World (Copernicus Books, 2003), security guru Bruce Schneier argues for a more common-sense and less technology-centric approach to both IT security and physical security. In this interview with Computerworld, Schneier shares his views on IT security.

You recently co-wrote the report “CyberInsecurity: The Cost of Monopoly. How the Dominance of Microsoft’s Products Poses a Risk to Security.” Would you have written it if the world had been standardized around another operating system? …

Audio: Beyond Fear

  • The Kojo Nnamdi Show
  • September 11, 2003

Two years after 9/11, are we safer? Security expert Bruce Schneier brings his common sense approach to the idea of national security and explains why arming pilots and issuing national I.D.s only makes us less secure.

Listen to the Audio on

Security Executive Stresses Trade-Offs

  • Michael Krey
  • Investor's Business Daily
  • September 10, 2003

It’s a gutsy way to start a book on security. In “Beyond Fear,” published this month by Copernicus Books, Bruce Schneier asks us to set aside our revulsion and horror to grasp what the 9-11 terrorists accomplished. What they did, he says, was efficient, audacious, well-planned, simple and, from their view, successful. This understanding is key to moving beyond fear and improving security, says Schneier, who created some well-known encryption algorithms—formulas used to scramble and unscramble computer data. He’s also founder and chief technology officer of Cupertino, Calif.-based computer security monitoring company Counterpane Internet Security Inc. The privately held company has attracted more than $50 million from some big-name venture funds. To improve security, we must demystify it and consider the trade-offs, he says. He hates the idea of national ID cards, opposes use of computerized voting machines and abhors the notion of arming commercial airline pilots. He recently spoke with IBD about security…

Bruce Schneier: The Evolution of a Cryptographer

  • Scott Berinato
  • CSO Magazine
  • September 1, 2003

For a while, it seemed as if Bruce Schneier himself was encrypted. No one could decipher his whereabouts for an interview with CSO. This was unusual because Schneier, founder and CTO of Counterpane Internet Security, is usually aggressively available to the press. Plus, he has a new book to promote—Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World—a decidedly iconoclastic and non-IT view of security. But the book also challenges physical security practitioners to learn a thing or two from the infosecurity ranks: to think in terms of systems…

"We've Made Bad Security Tradeoffs"

  • Alex Salkever
  • Businessweek
  • September 1, 2003

Bruce Schneier is a rare creature in the computer-security world. Although he made his name as an alpha geek in cryptography and later, as chief technology officer of Net-security outfit Counterpane, Schneier can also speak to laypeople about the general security matters that increasingly touch all of our lives.

In the post September 11 era, he has emerged as one of the more cogent and quotable thinkers on the topic. In particular, he has asked hard questions about the effectiveness of some of the security measures passed after the terrorists’ massacre. Schneier’s latest book, Beyond Fear (Copernicus Books, 2003), is a highly readable compendium of his thoughts on the various aspects of real-world security. Designed for a general audience, it’s a great introduction to a complicated and confusing topic. I interviewed Schneier via e-mail over the week of Aug. 25. Here are edited excerpts of our exchange:…

Perspectives from the Field: Bruce Schneier, Encryption Expert

  • Joab Jackson
  • Washington Technology
  • March 24, 2003

Bruce Schneier contends that the strongest security systems benefit from redundancy and variety. And as the Homeland Security Department consolidates a number of different agencies, Schneier warns that entrusting a centralized authority with securing the nation may make the country less, rather than more, secure.

Few in the field of information technology security have more expertise and industry respect than Schneier. Not only is he the author of “Applied Cryptography,” one of the seminal textbooks on encryption, but his Two fish encryption algorithm was a finalist far the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s new Federal Advanced Encryption Standard. He is also founder and chief technical officer of managed security service provider Counterpane Internet Security Inc., Cupertino, Calif., and publishes his own Crypto-Gram newsletter (http://www.counterpane .com/crypto-gram.html). Schneier Spoke with Staff Writer Joab Jackson to discuss how best to secure the nation’s IT and physical infrastructures…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.