News: 2012 Archives

Review of Liars and Outliers

  • Steven Isaacson
  • Spilog
  • December 27, 2012

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really informative look at what helps members of society act rationally and allows society to function. Schneier explains many of the common models of trust that exist at different layers of society and provides examples of each. I would have preferred to have the examples be a little more in depth and most of them were covered at a very high level. I guess that would make this a good jumping off point to other books which go in depth on any of the failures mentioned in the book. Overall I really enjoyed the book it was a very easy read and I recommend it…

Liars and Outliers

  • doctorhook
  • A Reading Room
  • December 25, 2012

I swear I didn’t read sidebernie‘s latest before I decided to post this….  Actually what happened was I got a deeply discounted and autographed book some time ago on the condition that I post a review about it somewhere.  And it’s been nagging at me (partly due to the fact that I left the book out on my desk to remind me and I keep knocking it off—oops, sorry) and I finally got some time, so here goes.  Hope there’s more than two of us here, or it won’t be very much publicity for the author!  Anyway….

I first discovered Bruce Schneier when I got interested in mathematical cryptography, with his book “Applied Cryptography”.  When that book came out and for many years afterwards, it was *the* book to read if you wanted to know how cryptography works.  Although Schneier is still considered an expert on the technical side of cryptography and is still designing ciphers, he has gradually broadened his attention over the years, first into computer security as a whole, then into security against terrorism, and most recently into security in general.  His most recent book, …

Schneier on Digital Feudalism, Cyberterrorism and Zombie SOPA

  • Adam Popescu
  • ReadWrite
  • December 24, 2012

Bruce Schneier is a bestselling author, TED speaker, and the founder and chief technology officer of BT Managed Security Solutions. ReadWrite got the chance to speak with the candid technologist about digital feudalism, widely considered one of the foremost voices in the world of security and privacy, government regulations and the reality of cyber warfare. 

Online Lord & Vassal

ReadWrite: I read your blog post the other day about Facebook having a “feudal lord” relationship with its users. Tell me what feudal security is.

Bruce Schneier:…

I Bought a Book

  • Cyryl
  • Adventurous Computing
  • December 22, 2012

I bought a book I didn’t read before. On the Internet. Paying a person I don’t personally know, based on his reputation only. Believing he would send me a paper copy of his words from a remote land I’ve never even visited. On the other hand he trusted me to write this review and gave me a discount for that very fact.

And yet everything worked out pretty well.

I transferred the money, got the book, read it and I’m writing the promised review right now.

How is that possible ? How do people trust each other in this “trust no one” place of the ‘nets? …

Complexity the Worst Enemy of Security

  • Chee-Sing Chan
  • Computerworld Hong Kong
  • December 17, 2012

Computerworld Hong Kong (CWHK): Are we actually any more secure today than we were five years ago?

Bruce Schneier (BS): In short, no. It’s interesting that every year we have new technologies, new products, new ideas, companies and research, yet people continue to ask why things are so bad with security? And the answer is that fundamentally the problem is complexity.

The Internet and all the systems we build today are getting more complex at a rate that is faster than we are capable of matching. So while security in reality is actually improving but the target is constantly shifting and as complexity grows, we are losing ground…

Liars and Outliers by Bruce Schneier (Review)

  • Russ Allbery
  • December 17, 2012

One of the perils of buying a book written by a blogger one reads regularly is that the book may be little more than a rehashing of their blog, with insufficient original material to warrant the time investment. Sometimes it’s still nice to support them financially, but it may not make sense to read the book. I’ve been following Schneier’s blog for years (as should anyone with an interest in security), including through the entire process of writing Liars and Outliers, and was a bit worried that might be the case here. Thankfully, I can reassure any other worried potential readers that is not the case. This is substantial new material establishing a firm framework for thinking about incentives and controls in any society or organization…

A review of Liars and Outliers by Bruce Schneier

  • Ben S. Knowles
  • December 14, 2012

Bruce Schneier is an accomplished author and security expert. In my line of work, information security, I’ve studied his books before and I read his writing almost daily as his opinion is of great value and often quite interesting. If you’ve already read one of his books or if you already know what security is(something about keeping DAD away from your CIA) you should have already read Liars and Outliers (if not go buy a copy) and may not get as much out of this review.

As a much lauded and often quoted security expert, accomplished cryptographer, and prolific writer about security technology and politics Bruce Schneier has well established standing to ask questions like: “What is security? What is trust? How do they work? Where did they come from?” He, like many of us, has been searching for good answers to these questions for many years and many people already use his previous answers to these questions in the work and life. From his standing at the top of the field and his success in influencing how everyone thinks about security and trust issues in society (he coined the term “security theater”) he not only gets to seriously consider these questions but is likely to come up with new well thought out answers that will influence the world…

Review of Liars and Outliers

  • Paul Fisher
  • December 9, 2012

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Bruce Schneier and his work. So when he offered readers a chance to buy his book at a discount in exchange for a review, I jumped at the chance. This review fulfills the obligation that I took on.

Every once in a while, you learn something that recontextualizes the world for you, and you start looking at everything through a new lens. After reading Liars and Outliers, I’ve been framing the systems I interact with in terms of cooperation, defection and the pressures applied to prevent defection.

At a certain abstract level, many human actions taken at large are much like Prisoners’ Dilemmas (or other game-theoretic games where the global optimum is at odds with personal optima). When you go to the grocery store, you (along with everybody else) has a choice between paying for your goods—cooperating—or walking out—defecting. If you pay, it’s good for everybody, because it helps ensure that the grocery store will continue to serve the area, but if you walk out, you get free groceries, but the costs are passed onto other customers. If too many people steal, the store might close. The fact that most people don’t steal groceries allows stores to continue operating. These defectors, as Schneier calls people who make the selfish choice over the societally optimal choice, are the titular …

Review: Liars and Outliers by Bruce Schneier

  • Victor Engmark
  • Paperless
  • December 7, 2012

Tl;dr An enormously important book about understanding and optimizing security in the 21st century.

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. I don’t know Bruce Schneier, and he certainly doesn’t know me. Even so, when he announced a heavily discounted signed edition of Liars and Outliers he was effectively testing the main hypothesis of the book: That in any society it is reasonable to uphold a non-zero level of trust even in complete strangers:

  • Schneier trusted 100 (or at least many enough to make a net gain) random strangers to reciprocate the offer by writing and publishing a review of the book…

Book Review: Liars and Outliers

  • Adam Montville
  • The State of Security
  • November 29, 2012

Several weeks ago Bruce Schneier asked his readership if they wanted to make a deal: Buy a signed copy of Liars and Outliers at a substantially reduced price in return for writing a review. I took him up on that offer, as did several others. While my review has been delayed, I wanted to ensure that I was able to absorb (I think I have) what Mr. Schneier has to say about a topic that is a departure from his usual subjects. Additionally, I wanted to make some attempt to apply his construct to the concept of information risk management.

Liars and Outliers…

Liars and Outliers Review

  • Nickvt's Posterous
  • November 21, 2012

I’ve long been a fan of Bruce Schneier as evidenced by my collection of his books (Secrets and Lies and Beyond Fear). So was excited to finally get my hands on the latest book Liars and Outliers from him.

So an enlightening read as usual but took longer than previous books for me in part because it was longer and more denser. His previous books were lighter reads—not because they lacked information but this one was dealing with a challenging set of related issues—trust, society, human behavior, politics and security (to name a few).

I’ve said repeatedly I wish the government and in particular the TSA would pay attention to him—they did poll him early on for his views and insights on security but for the most part ignore his wisdom and practical insight…

Reacting May Be Best IT Security Solution

  • Networks Asia Staff
  • Networks Asia
  • November 20, 2012

Trying to predict the next security problem is the wrong way to go about things said Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer at BT who was speaking at an event in Singapore.

“The more we try to predict, the more the bad guys react around us,” Schneier said. Contrary to popular IT security ideology, what was more important was the ability to react as well as mitigate and recover.

This attempt to predict where the next attack will come from is creating a gap between security and attackers where cyber criminals will be constantly evolving to develop and exploit new attack vectors with IT departments constantly playing catchup…

Anticipating Threats Ineffective in Enhancing Security

  • Ellyne Phneah
  • ZDNet
  • November 19, 2012

SINGAPORE—Companies looking to predict cyberthreats to fend off attacks will not improve their IT systems’ security robustness as the criminals responsible will evolve and develop their technologies accordingly.

Speaking at a seminar here Monday, Bruce Schneier, chief security technology officer at BT, said technology has affected the balance of society and social mechanisms such as law and punishment, which help keep people in check so they will not commit crimes, online or otherwise.

For instance, the Internet has given rise to anonymity and made it easier for cybercriminals to perpetrate their attacks without getting caught, Schneier observed…

Book Review: Liars and Outliers

  • Joe Golton
  • FilterJoe
  • November 19, 2012

The book Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive provides a framework to answer the question, “Why do people trust each other and cooperate?”

I read this book with an eye towards improving my understanding of how people filter information, which is relevant to the focus of this blog and my recent interest in improving the trustworthiness and quality of crowd-sourced product information. I also knew of and respected the author, security expert Bruce Schneier, who is a source for parts of my password management series…

One Man's Crusade to End the Hysteria over Cyberwar

  • Christopher Mims
  • Quartz
  • November 14, 2012

Bruce Schneier, a legend among hackers and security experts, is having trouble convincing the world that the threat of cyberwar is overstated. In 2010, the year after the US launched a Cyber Command division of its military, he lost a public debate on the subject. And in October, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that the US should gird itself for a cyber Pearl Harbor . Yet Schneier is undeterred. Through countless essays, speeches and debates, he has tirelessly argued that what we should really be paying attention to is how we establish trust online…

Read Anything Interesting Lately?

  • Uniballer
  • FreeBSD Forums
  • November 14, 2012

I recently read Bruce Schneier’s latest book, Liars and Outliers.

This is not a how-to book. It won’t make your code more secure. I doubt that it would serve as a manual on human interactions for extraterrestrials. Nor is it likely to improve a bank loan officer’s percentage of good loans, or an eBay buyer’s choice of sellers, or your ability to detect email phishing or a corporation whose accountants have cooked the books. But it might shape your understanding of all that stuff.

Liars & Outliers is a look at how trust works in society, with passing references to neuroscience, economics and game theory. Along with a description of how the negative feedback of societal pressure is supposed to work is an explanation of why it doesn’t work so well on-line and with large corporations…

Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive

  • November 12, 2012

In February of this year Bruce Schneier released his latest book, Liars & Outliers—enabling the trust that society needs to thrive. This accessible book does a good job exploring the scientific theory of trust and collaboration and combines a theoretical framework with real-life examples. It does not bring many new insights to people who have followed Schneier’s other work but the theoretical framework is useful and this is a book worth reading.

Mr. Schneier is a well-known computer security specialist. In college I studied from his book Applied Cryptography, a standard work on practical cryptography, and he has a great blog on security. I received a …

Book Review “Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive” by Bruce Schneier

  • 57degrees
  • Livejournal
  • November 12, 2012

Back on August 15, Bruce Schneier made an offer to sell his latest book (below cost) in exchange for a book review.  I took him up on that offer, so here is my review.

Honestly, I was a little disappointed.  I had built up a higher expectation for this book than it delivered for me.

I think there are two reasons for this.

  1. I’m kind of old, and have seen at least one really bad thing – which makes a person go through the thought processes of “WHY?”.  In exploring the violation of trust that occurred, I discovered many of the things described in this book.  I suppose an advantage of buying this book is that you get the knowledge and …

Now We Must 'Pledge Allegiance' To Apple Or Google To Stay Safe

  • Julie Bort
  • Business Insider
  • November 7, 2012

As we all buy smartphones and use the cloud, we are doing something that’s never been done before: trusting a few big IT companies with our lives.  That’s not necessarily in our best interest, but we have no choice.

So says world-famous security expert Bruce Schneier.

Schneier’s latest book, “Liars and Outliers,” looks at the psychology needed to keep humans safe.

Business Insider talked with Schneier and heard his thoughts. He told us:

  • Smartphones change everything.  A few big companies, like Apple and Google, have gained an alarming amount of control because they own the the device and store the data. “I call it ‘feudal security,’ where you pledge your allegiance to a company and in return they keep you safe.”…

Security in Perspective: Liars and Outliers

  • Grossvogel
  • An Honest Lamp
  • November 1, 2012

Most of us experience “security” from one of two vantage points: as the threatened or as the threat. The power held over us by those who peddle, prescribe, and implement security can be—let’s just say it can chafe a bit. Bruce Schneier is known for lampooning the wasteful and invasive security measures in our airports, warning of the dangers posed by unchecked surveillance, and blogging about squids. In Liars and Outliers, though, he offers a paradigm that could (should) transform how we view security.

The core idea is that societies require trust to function. Societies exert various kinds of forces—moral, reputational, institutional, and security—on their members to encourage behavior that induces trust and trustworthiness. Most often, security becomes necessary as societies grow too large for the other mechanisms to be effective. So the ultimate goal of security is to increase trust, and it does so not on its own but as a supplement to these other mechanisms…

Liars & Outliers

  • David Leppik
  • No Dave, It's Just You
  • October 23, 2012

I’ve been a Bruce Schneier fan for years. I read his blog often enough that I don’t feel the need to read his books. But then he offered a discount on a signed edition of his latest book– with the one stipulation that I write a review of it. So here’s the review.

A lot of brilliant thinkers tend to get stuck in their own perspective. There are plenty of mathematical geniuses who can’t contemplate the implications of their ideas. Plenty of programmers who can’t understand why users don’t recognize the brilliance of their user interfaces. Bruce Schneier isn’t one of them. His rose to fame with …

Liars and Outliers

  • David Kiger
  • October 22, 2012

I got Liars and Outliers signed, for cheap, direct from Bruce Schneier on the condition that I write a review of it. He sold 100 of them this way as a pretty clever way to stir up some publicity. It also worked as a motivator for me to actually write about it.

The basic gist of it is that while I enjoyed the book, it felt like he was preaching to the choir. I didn’t find very much new information (though size-weight misperception was new to me and seems pretty interesting), and my guess would be the type of person that’s likely to pick up this book and read it is in the same boat. There are countless people who absolutely need to understand the concepts it contains, but I’m unconvinced they are a likely audience…

Obligatorisk Læsning

  • Af Poul-Henning Kamp
  • Ingeniøren
  • October 15, 2012

Jeg har lige lagt Bruce Schneiers “Liars and Outliers” fra mig og det bliver ikke nemt at gøre den retfærdighed i en boganmeldelse.

De fleste af jer har aldrig hørt om Bruce Schneier før, men blandt IT folk er han et idol, hvis bøger om kryptografi er obligatoriske klassikere i branchen.

Denne gang har han skrevet en bog om sikkerhed der ikke handler om computere og faktisk kun halvvejs handler om sikkerhed.

Bogen er i bund og grund en analyse af hvordan mennesker omgås hinanden, hverken mere eller mindre, men det er ikke nogen særlig hjælpsom opsummering, for det dækker alt fra affaldshåndtering over skattelovgivning til computersikkerhed…

De la Confianza

  • Respirando por Inercia
  • October 14, 2012

Bruce Schneier, Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive. (Mentirosos y excéntricos. Haciendo posible la confianza que la sociedad necesita para prosperar.) John Wiley & Sons Inc., Indianapolis, USA, 2012. 366 páginas.

Desde que en un giro más o menos calculado a mi retorcida trayectoria profesional (sobre la que prefiero no entrar en este blog) presté más atención a la hirsuta disciplina de la seguridad informática, sigo con interés las opiniones de Bruce Schneier, una eminencia en el área. Me gusta sobre todo su franqueza a la hora de distinguir entre las políticas y medidas que realmente aumentan la seguridad con las que, frecuentemente mucho más costosas, tan sólo son una exhibición de cara a la galería. Un ejemplo notorio, las medidas que las histéricas democracias occidentales infligen a su población con la excusa del terrorismo: desproporcionadas, caras, molestas y muy poco efectivas, consistiendo más bien en un …

Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

  • M7 Book Blog
  • October 13, 2012

Full disclosure: I’m a pretty big Bruce Schneier fan and I did get this book at a discount for promising to review it.  This is me fulfilling my end of the promise.

Schneier is a security guy.  Not this kind, more about security in technology.  He’ll be the first to point out your security flaws, tell you how terrible your password is, and publicize a companies mishandling of said password.  This book is different.  It’s a lot less about technology and security and more about the psychology of trust in humans. (Don’t worry, there’s still some TSA bashing on pg. 197)…

To Endow Trust

  • Benedikt Herrmann
  • Science
  • October 12, 2012

Liars and Outliers Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive by Bruce Schneier Wiley, Indianapolis, IN, 2012. 382 pp. $24.95, C$27.95. ISBN 9781118143308.

When the extent of the financial crisis came to light in 2008, former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan had to admit to Congress that he had “made a mistake in presuming that the self interest of organizations … was such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and the equity in the firms”—a mistake that turned out to be very costly, and not only to the American economy. It might be unfair to blame Greenspan for his misperception of the self-interest of organizations. Until very recently, there was no way for someone to objectively and impartially measure the nature of human social behavior. From Aristotle to George W. Bush, decisions have been made based on personal beliefs about how selfishly or cooperatively other people will act…

RSA Conference: Governments Trying to "Seize Control" of the Internet

  • Asavin Wattanajantra
  • SC Magazine
  • October 11, 2012

A famed computer security expert believes governments are trying to seize control of the internet, but will fail in the long term to reach that goal.

Bruce Schneier, BT’s chief technology officer and author of several important books on security, said that governments that didn’t understand the internet were trying to take control of it. He looked at US proposals of creating an ‘internet kill-switch’, claiming that policy makers were crazy to even think of a single mechanism to shut-off all internet traffic.

He said: “You see these types of government proposals, and they come from law enforcement, lobbyists or the military, and we’re going to see more of those. Short-term we’re going to see a bunch of years where governments are going to seize more control over this dangerous ‘anarchistic net’ and rein it back in.”…

Stick Punters' Mugs on E-banking Pages, That'll End Fraud – Schneier

Crypto guru urges creative thinking from security pros

  • John Leyden
  • The Register
  • October 11, 2012

Cryptography guru Bruce Schneier called for more creative thinking and a broader perspective as a means to tackle security problems.

For example, the music industry, faced with an explosion in online file-sharing, hired security pros to develop anti-piracy measures, such as digital rights management technology. But these inconvenienced punters while doing little or nothing to stem copyright infringement. A better approach was making songs affordable and easy to buy, a model that has since lined Apple’s deep pockets.

“This [the latter approach] is not something a security person would think up,” Schneier said at the RSA Europe conference. “Security professionals would be too focused on building a better door lock.”…

Schneier Calls for Societal Pressure to Fight Cyber Crime

Security guru Bruce Schneier calls for societal pressure to convince would-be hackers that their actions are not in their own interests

  • Information Age
  • October 10, 2012

Cyber crime will not be resolved with technology alone, security guru Bruce Schneier warned at the RSA conference in London today. Societal pressure is also need to discourage people from becoming cyber criminals, he argued.

Security experts will always be catching up with criminals when it comes to technological exploits, argued Schneier, who is BT’s chief security technology officer. “Attackers have a natural advantage because they can make use of innovations faster and have no procurement pressure or institutional inertia,” he said.

Society therefore has a role to play in discouraging individuals from becoming ‘defectors’, Schneier argued. There are four potenital mechanisms for this, he explained…

RSA London 2012: Governments Will Fail in Bid to Control Internet, claims Bruce Schneier

  • Alastair Stevenson
  • October 10, 2012

The world’s governments are destined to fail in their attempts to control the internet, according to BT security expert Bruce Schneier.

Schneier claimed that the internet is currently going through a dark period, with legislators creating ill-conceived cyber policies that are damaging rather than helping online developments.

“Governments are starting to use it [the internet] for power,” said Schneier at a press conference in London.

“We’re hitting a period in internet history where governments are seizing more control; one where governments that don’t understand the internet are trying to interfere with it.”…

Liars & Outliers: A Book Review

  • Richard Frisch
  • RHFtech Write on Tech
  • September 12, 2012

Anthropology was one of my college majors. I preferred physical to cultural anthropology. The history of primates, as told by fragments of bones or teeth, was more interesting to me than was the glue that held societies together. I preferred learning about Zinjanthropus boisei to reading about the customs of the Yanamami people of the Amazon rainforest or the !Kung bushmen of the Kalahari Desert.

I was unenthusiastic about cultural anthropology until I read the monograph, Deciphering a Meal, by the anthropologist Mary Douglas. The article dissected meal rituals and their purposes. She looked at how being invited over for drinks meant something different than sharing leftovers at the kitchen table. There is a lengthy discussion about kosher rituals. The article had a profound effect on my thinking, particularly about human behavior…

Video: Keynote Guests discuss Technology Evolution Preparedness & Risk Management

  • HP Protect 2012
  • September 10, 2012

Paul Muller (@xthestreams), Chief Evangelist, HP Software speaks with two of the HP Protect 2012 keynote speakers about security and risk management.

Paul speaks with Bruce Schneier, Security Technologist – Author of Liars and Outliers – How societies can use security to enable the trust the need to survive. Paul and Bruce discuss:
– How can security technologists get in front of the security risks resulting from new technologies and general evolutions?
– The importance of swift reaction to inevitable breaches and exploitation tactics.
– Thinking about security in the terms of decision cycles to best anticipate and mitigate risk…

Layers of Security

  • Privacy PC
  • September 5, 2012

Bruce Schneier, the well-known American cryptographer and security specialist, gives an interview to Radio New Zealand’s Bryan Crump during his visit to the country, discussing real-world security issues and whether anti-terror measures done by the authorities worldwide are as effective as expected.

(Bryan Crump):—Bruce Schneier is a security specialist who seems to be trying to talk himself out of a job. His point is a lot of what we do to protect ourselves against terrorism is pointless. The best weapons against terror are, in his opinion, good intelligence and refusing to be terrorized. Bruce is based in the United States of America, was in New Zealand for a conference on identity and identity theft. Recently I spoke to him while he was here and began by asking what attracted him to this seemingly dry topic of airport X-rays baggage checks and the like…

Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

  • Paul Ekblom
  • Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Book Review
  • September 2012

Some years ago, I participated in a meeting of academic members and associates of the then recently-founded Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science at University College London (UCL). The aim was to define what exactly was meant by ‘crime science’, a new term challenging conventional criminology. In attendance was one of the originators of the term and the Institute, Professor Ron Clarke of Rutgers.

The consensus definition quickly centered on an interest in the near or proximal causes of criminal events such as opportunities and provocations, rather than traditional concerns with criminality and even more remote societal causes; a readiness to draw on evidence, theory and scientific method; an interest in multidisciplinary applications of other sciences ranging from physics to microbiology; and a practical focus on reducing risks of crime. Then I posed a seemingly straightforward question: surely, to be fully scientific, we need a scientific definition of crime itself? Otherwise, at the heart of crime science is a mushy core of”we all know what crime means…don’t we?”…

You Can’t Trust Airport Security

But don't worry: It has always been easy to cheat, steal or kill, and few people do

  • Jordan Ellenberg
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • August 31, 2012


When the plumber knocks at your door, why do you let him in? He’s probably bigger and stronger than you. And he has a wrench. He could easily kill you and steal your money and your stuff, which would certainly be a better deal for him than receiving a moderate payment and having to fix your toilet.

But you trust that he won’t; and trust, that mysterious and invaluable substance, is the subject of Bruce Schneier’s ambitious “Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Survive,” which starts with the homely parable of the plumber and builds into a treatise on every aspect of trust, from marital fidelity to transnational terrorism…

Trust: Ill-Advised in a Digital Age

  • Somini Sengupta
  • The New York Times
  • August 11, 2012

Las Vegas

Bruce Schneier ordered a Coke, no ice, at the Rio casino on a Saturday afternoon. I ordered Diet Coke, also no ice, and handed the bartender an American Express card. He said he needed to see proof of identity. Credit cards are often stolen around here, and eight casino workers had recently been fired for not demanding ID, he quietly explained. The bartender wanted to keep his job.

Mr. Schneier, 49, is a student of interactions like this, offline and on. He is a cryptographer, blogger and iconoclast in the world of computer security, and his latest subject of inquiry is trust: how it is cultivated, destroyed and tweaked in the digital age…

Security Tips from Bruce Schneier

  • Sean Michael Kerner
  • eSecurity Planet
  • August 8, 2012

Bruce Schneier knows a thing or two about security. The author of multiple books on cryptography, Schneier is widely considered to be an expert on the subject of encryption as well as the broader topic of information security. So we jumped at the opportunity to sit down with him for an in-depth interview at the Black Hat 2012 conference in late July. Here are some of the highlights of what he had to say.

The State of Encryption: “Not that great, and getting worse”

Asked to share his view of the state of encryption in this new age of cloud computing, Schneier says: “It’s not that great, and it’s getting worse.”…

Video: Bruce Schneier on the State of Encryption Today

  • InternetNewsBlog
  • August 7, 2012

Bruce Schneier talks to Sean Michael Kerner about what’s wrong with encryption today and provides insight into what the best browser and operating system to use might be.

Watch the Video on YouTube

Video: Bruce Schneier Talks about the Morality of Security

  • InternetNews
  • August 2, 2012

Bruce Schneier gives us his views on why morality might well be the key ingredient for better Internet security.

Watch the Video on YouTube

Can Morality Improve Security?

  • Sean Michael Kerner
  • eSecurity Planet
  • August 2, 2012

This year, more than $22 billion in enterprise security products and services is expected to be sold worldwide. But according to Bruce Schneier, well-known cryptology expert and security luminary, technology alone isn’t the answer to better security.

In an in-depth interview with eSecurity Planet at the Black Hat 2012 conference in Las Vegas last week, Schneier argued that looking at security solely from a technology perspective is to take a too narrow view of the problem.

“If you look at broader society, there is a lot of security that happens at a much more personal level,” Schneier said…

Video: Bruce Schneier Answers Your Questions

  • July 28, 2012

Bruce Schneier takes audience questions at the DEF CON 20 hacker convention in Las Vegas.

Watch the Video or Listen to the Audio on

Bruce Schneier’s Book: The Internet Has Created ‘the Largest Trust Gap’ in History

'Liars and Outliers' takes swings at NSA, U.S. government, Facebook, Microsoft and others

  • Ellen Messmer
  • Network World
  • July 10, 2012

Technology, often made possible through networks, grants new powers to communicate and learn, to travel, to make decisions of critical importance, to make things, provide services, sell them and buy them. In a modern society, it’s all done against a backdrop of trust not only that the technology is reliable and secure, but that the people involved in every process, whether we meet them face-to-face or not, are trustworthy. That trust is largely created by societal pressures—ranging from codes of moral behavior and laws, plus worries about reputation, for example…

Book Reviews: Liars and Outliers

  • Terriko
  • Dreamwidth
  • June 28, 2012

I want to tell you that this book is amazing and I loved every moment of it. It’s smart, I agree with most of what he says, and I very much appreciate Bruce Schneier’s candidness when he’s making statements more on gut instinct and doesn’t yet have full scientific work to back it up, or the work he has isn’t actually very convincing. He could have written a compelling book without those admissions (and many authors of pop non-fiction do exactly that) but I found his insights much more interesting when he acknowledges where they’re more speculation than anything else. The anecdotes, stories and analogies are interesting and work with the ideas contained therein, and the applications to social structures and laws and whatnot were clear and convincing…

Geeky Books to Get You through the Summer

  • Keith Shaw
  • InfoWorld
  • June 23, 2012


Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive,” by Bruce Schneier

Internationally renowned security expert Bruce Schneier delves into the world of trust, bringing together “ideas from across the social and biological sciences to explain how society induces trust … how trust works and fails in social settings, communities, organizations, countries and the world.”

Stuxnet Cyberattack by US a "Destabilizing and Dangerous" Course of Action, Security Expert Bruce Schneier Says

  • Ellen Messmer
  • Network World
  • June 18, 2012

Revelations by The New York Times that President Barack Obama in his role as commander in chief ordered the Stuxnet cyberattack against Iran’s uranium-enrichment facility two years ago in cahoots with Israel is generating controversy, with Washington in an uproar over national-security leaks. But the important question is whether this covert action of sabotage against Iran, the first known major cyberattack authorized by a U.S. president, is the right course for the country to take. Are secret cyberattacks helping the U.S. solve geopolitical problems or actually making things worse?…

Liars and Outliers

  • Chris Taylor
  • Actionable Books
  • June 9, 2012

I’m not going to lie, I struggled with this book a little at the beginning. Not because it isn’t well written (it is). And not because the subject matter wasn’t relevant or fascinating (it was). I struggled because Bruce Schneier’s Liars and Outliers was completely new territory for me. This is a book about societal pressures; about what makes us obey the law (or break it), stay monogamous (or cheat on our spouses) and lie on our taxes.

Liars and Outliers really is a fascinating book, it’s just that there was – for me – a steep learning curve to the concepts. And so, in true Actionable fashion, I’m going to attempt to distill some of the fundamentals… in two pages or less. Here we go…

Bruce Schneier Lyfter Blicken I Ny Bok

Tomas Gilså har läst ”Liars & Outliers” – en utmärkt grundkurs i mänskligt beteende utifrån ett säkerhetsperspektiv.

  • Tomas Gilså
  • June 4, 2012

Bruce Schneier, it-säkerhetsbranschens husgud, har lyft blicken än en gång. Efter att ha börjat med ”Applied Cryp­tography” 1994 och fortsatt med böcker om allmän it-säkerhet, informationssäkerhet och praktisk säkerhet är han idag framme vid sin trettonde bok, ”Liars & Outliers”. Med den tar han steget upp på samhällsnivå.

”Liars & Outliers” förklarar säkerhet som en funktion av tillit, dess fördelar och tilkortakommanden. Förklaringarna bygger på såväl beteendevetenskap och sociologi som historia och juridik…

Audio: Liars and Outliers

  • Skeptically Speaking
  • June 3, 2012

This week, we’re talking about trust and cooperation, and the implications these social values have for security in the era of global networking. We’re joined by security technologist and author Bruce Schneier, to talk about his book Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive. And anthropologist/ger Greg Laden returns to discuss speculation about cognitive limits on the use of social networks.

For more on the debate between Bruce Schneier and Sam Harris over the effectiveness of profiling in airport security, check out …

Liars and Outliers Book Review

  • Presh Talwalkar
  • Mind Your Decisions
  • May 31, 2012

I read this book thanks to a wonderful suggestion from one of my regular readers. Liars and Outliers is a book written by Bruce Schneier, a security expert who also has an excellent blog Schneier on Security.

Overall, I found Liars and Outliers to be a fun read about how to analyze trust. I found the book particularly interesting because Schneier refers to many game theory models. I highly recommend the book to anyone that wants to see how game theory models can be applied to thinking about the area of security.

The book was a pleasant read, and I finished it in a couple of weeks, reading a couple of chapters each night. While Schneier’s book is philosophical and full of ideas, numerous real-world examples and well-organized writing make the book a pleasurable read…

Audio: An Interview with Bruce Schneier

  • Cigital Silver Bullet
  • May 30, 2012

On the 74th episode of The Silver Bullet Security Podcast, Gary talks for a second time with Bruce Schneier. They revisit Bruce’s prediction in episode 9 that insight into economics and security would help vendors sell their products more efficiently. In addition, they discuss Bruce’s new book Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive, how far behind the government is in terms of security, cloud computing, and Uncle Milton’s ant farm.

Listen to the Audio on

Book Review: Liars and Outliers, by Bruce Schneier

  • Jennifer Lang
  • Actuarial Eye
  • May 27, 2012

Today’s book review is Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive, by Bruce Schneier.

Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security guru (he even has his own internet meme). He started out as an expert on cryptography, but he now has much wider security interests.

Liars and Outliers is a book that at its core is about trust. What is the optimum level of trust for a society, and how do we make it work for us? How do complex changes in the way our society works change that trust and the trade-offs between cooperating with the group interest and defecting from it?…

Schneier’s Outliers: A Book Review

  • Kip Hawley
  • May 23, 2012

Bruce Schneier and I have satisfied a market need of journalists for a number of years; namely relatively informed people willing to go on the record with opposing views about the efficacy of TSA activities. My recent Wall Street Journal piece has led some to wonder how far apart Bruce and I are on TSA security issues. We generally agree on principles and strategy but diverge on issues that are influenced by operational or intelligence considerations, about which Bruce would have no reason to be aware. Bruce might say that I hide behind the secrecy shield and I might wish to retort that just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it is stupid. But enough, there is more to security than checkpoints…

Audio: Layers of Security

  • Radio New Zealand
  • May 21, 2012

How secure do you feel – on a personal level or even at a national level? Revealing the cracks in the systems is American cryptographer and security guru Bruce Schneier.

Listen to the Audio on

Book Recommendation: Liars & Outliers

  • Duncan Wilcock
  • Appendix D
  • May 21, 2012

A new book from Bruce Schneier—the man who coined the term security theater that has since made its way into the mainstream lexicon.

In short—Liars & Outliers is good—really good. Schneier comes from a computer security background, but he has gone much bigger picture with this book. Fundamentally it’s a book about trust—why we trust each other, what mechanisms we have in society to ensure that we do trust each other, and how these fail sometimes.

It’s a book that introduces a new framework—paradigm even—for thinking about why we trust each other and what security measures we want or need in our society…

Liars & Outliers Book Review

  • Chris Cocking
  • Don't Panic!
  • May 14, 2012

In 2010 I attended a conference on Security and Human Behavior at the University of Cambridge (, where academics explored ways of helping people operate more safely in an increasingly uncertain world, and spoke about the resilience of crowd behavior in mass emergencies. After that I offered to proof read a draft of a book by one of the organizers, and he very kindly sent me a copy, so I thought it only fair to give it a quick plug;

Bruce Schneier’s new book Liars and Outliers is a very readable book that looks at how society depends upon trust to operate, and that things would quickly grind to a halt if people did not place trust in each other for a multitude of vital social functions. It is grounded in sound theoretical perspectives, drawing upon well established psychological explanations for human behavior, such as social dilemmas, where immediate individual interest may not always be for the greater collective good. It’s helpfully peppered with tables that illustrate the issues involved in such social dilemmas, and supported by a variety of evidence from economic, technological, and psychological approaches- well worth a read…

Liars & Outliers

  • Ravi Miranda
  • May 9, 2012

Bruce has touched upon the 16 interdisciplinary and inter-related subject areas (answers can be found in the 16×16 matrix below) that make up the core of his new book. His new book is all about TRUST and SECURITY. Liars & Outliers is an excellent read with just over 16 chapters and a clear focus on how humans developed the trust they needed to survive over the centuries.

The book poses several ideas that may seem new to us security professionals such as Dunbar’s numbers, and the Red Queen effect, and the Hawk-Dove game. Wonderfully explained in Liars and Outliers is the model of trust based on societal, moral, reputational and institutional pressures that security systems need to address to be effective…

Are Your Customers Friends or Criminals?

  • Margaret Heffernan
  • CBS MoneyWatch
  • April 30, 2012

One of the best books I’ve read this year is by a security technologist, Bruce Schneier. In Liars and Outliers, he sets out to investigate how trust works in society and in business, how it is betrayed and the degree to which technology changes all of that, for the better or the worse.

Schneier absolutely understands how profoundly trust oils the wheels of business and of daily life. “The more customers trust merchants, the more business gets done. The more drivers trust each other, the smoother the traffic.” Trust is what allows us to deal with strangers, to expand our horizons and our companies. It is like the air that we breathe: Invisible but essential. That is invisible may mean that we don’t consider how powerfully it could work for companies if it were considered an asset, capable of generating growth and loyalty…

Bruce Schneier, Trust, Teaching, and My Daughter’s School

  • Andromeda Yelton
  • April 28, 2012

I used to teach. I taught at an extraordinary, Hogwarts-esque New England boarding school, quite unlike the West Virginia public schools I attended. I’m privileged to have had the opportunity; I learned a tremendous amount from it.

My daughter is in preschool now at a Montessori school. This could scarcely be more different, in culture or structure, from the school where I taught, and I’ve been struggling for years to find ways to articulate the differences. Part of this is that I’ve felt, increasingly, that the Montessori approach to culture is the …

The Tribal Mind: Moral Reasoning and Public Discourse

  • Arnold Kling
  • The American
  • April 26, 2012


[In The Righteous Mind, Jonathan] Haidt writes:

Moral systems are interlocking sets of values, virtues, norms, practices, identities, institutions, technologies, and evolved psychological mechanisms that work together to suppress or regulate self-interest and make cooperative societies possible.

It is interesting to compare this perspective with what one finds in Liars and Outliers, a recent book by Bruce Schneier on the social problem of trust and security. Schneier, a security consultant, views our lives from the perspective of game theory. Every day, we must decide whether to cooperate or to defect. Do I try to arrive at work on time, or do I show up late? Do I drive safely or aggressively? Do I support the goals of my department, or do I work for myself? Does my department support the goals of the larger organization, or does it pursue its own interests? Does the larger organization work to support the goals of the society to which it belongs, or does it pursue its own goals?…

Det komplexa samhället och dess fiender

  • Anders Märak Leffler
  • Svensk Tidskrift
  • April 13, 2012

Bruce Schneier
Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive
Wiley 2012

Det är inte alltid lätt att vara småhandlare. ”När slaktaren kommer till mig för att köpa ett djur, vet han att jag vill lura honom”, berättar en boskapshandlare för Oxfordprofessorn Diego Gambetta. ”Men, jag vet också att han kommer att vilja lura mig. För att vi ska kunna komma överens behövs ’Peppe’ [en tredje part] som kan få oss att komma överens. I utbyte får han en del av köpesumman.”

Det behövs inget särskilt stort mått av välvilja från bryggarens, bagarens eller slaktarens sida för att vi ska kunna äta oss mätta. Tack vare marknadsmekanismerna behöver vi inte vädja till något mer än deras vinstintresse. Men, som boskapshandlaren illustrerar, både kräver och bygger marknaden på tillit. Och där det inte finns, måste det skapas – till ett högre eller lägre pris…

Audio: Liars and Outliers

  • Wisconsin Public Radio
  • April 9, 2012

Society runs on trust. We have no choice but to trust that the random people, institutions, and systems we interact with will cooperate and be trustworthy. Join Ben Merens and his guest Bruce Schneier as they discuss how security can protect us from defectors; and what enables us to trust strangers at the local, national, and global scale.

Listen to the Audio on

Review: Of Parasites, Trust and Morality

  • Martin Langfield
  • Reuters
  • April 5, 2012

Without trust, society splits into warring tribes and parasites prosper. The financial crisis of 2008 is a powerful example of what can happen when individuals or small groups set their own gain above the common good. Meanwhile, the U.S. debt debate shows how political polarization can lead to potentially crippling paralysis.

People are moral creatures, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt writes in “The Righteous Mind.” Citing brain research, evolutionary psychology and the social sciences, Haidt says successful societies use a shared sense of morality to bind citizens to the common good. In a broad sense, religion has been a highly effective tool for building social cohesion and trust. Security expert Bruce Schneier, who charts similar ground in his book “Liars & Outliers,” largely agrees…

Trust Me!

  • Bob Bragdon
  • CSO
  • April 3, 2012

Now why would you do that? I mean really, why would you trust me?

Some of you reading this know me, most of you do not. But even for those who do, I ask the question again, why would you trust me? You read my musings, you see me at events, you know what I do here at CSO, but that’s about it. Hey, I could just be making all this stuff up!

Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t trust me (I don’t make it up). I am, as it happens, a very trustworthy person, and if you do trust me, then that probably means that you are a very trusting person.

The point I’m making is that we live in a society where trust is very often given without warrant. If you compare that attitude with the one that inspires the hurdles we necessarily put in place to establish electronic or business trust, I think you would agree that we set up very different standards for trusting someone depending on what we’re trusting them with. That’s a risk…

Society’s Dependence on Trust and Security

  • Mark McCourt
  • Security Magazine
  • April 1, 2012

Just today, a stranger came to my door claiming he was here to unclog a bathroom drain. I let him into my house without verifying his identity, and not only did he repair the drain, he also took off his shoes so he wouldn’t track mud on my floors. When he was done, I gave him a piece of paper that asked my bank to give him some money. He accepted it without a second glance. At no point did he attempt to take my possessions, and at no point did I attempt the same of him. In fact, neither of us worried that the other would. My wife was also home, but it never occurred to me that he was a sexual rival and I should kill him…

The Social Issues Shelf: Liars & Outliers

  • The Bookwatch
  • April 2012

Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive provides a powerful survey on trust, cooperation, and the evolution of a social system. It considers how traditional trust mechanisms have worked in the past, and how new technology is challenging these traditional functions that create or question trust. Liars & Outliers considers cooperation and social stability, discussing new social cues involved in creating trust and considering how security has come to substitute methods for trust. Any social issues collection as well as libraries strong in business and internet endeavors will find this a powerful pick…

Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive (Review)

  • Mayer Nudell, CSC
  • Security Management
  • April 2012

As security professionals, we mainly consider how we can establish procedures, plans, and policies focused on actions intended to protect people, places, and things. We rarely consider the societal mechanisms fostering the trust that allows us to prioritize our actions even though we recognize that we cannot protect everyone, everything, and every place all the time. Without a broad base of trust, society and all of our institutions would fail to function. This is the focus of Bruce Schneier’s new­est book, Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive…

Audio: Dresser After Dark with Michael Dresser

  • Dresser After Dark
  • March 30, 2012

Bruce Schneier discussed issues of trust on Dresser After Dark with host Michael Dresser.

Listen to the Audio on

Audio: Bruce Schneier on the Importance of Trust in Society

  • Surprisingly Free
  • March 27, 2012

Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned security expert and author, discusses his new book entitled, “Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs To Thrive.” Schneier starts the discussion by looking at society and trust and explains why he thinks the two are necessary for civilization. According to Schneier, two concepts contribute to a trustful society: first, humans are mostly moral; second, informal reputation systems incentivize trustworthy behavior. The discussion turns to technology and trust, and Schneier talks about how the information society yields greater consequences when trust is breached. He then describes how society deals with technology and trust and why he thinks the system is not perfect but working well overall…

Liars and Outliers, and “They”

  • Jaanus Kase
  • Jaanus
  • March 24, 2012

Liars and Outliers is a book by well-known security author Bruce Schneier. It talks about the role and mechanisms of trust in society, and how these have evolved over time as we have scaled our civilization. See the author’s own take on the big story.

It used to be easy. Humans lived in tribes and everyone knew everyone else. A combination of moral and reputational pressures was in action to keep people in check. In societies, there is often a conflict between personal and group interest, and these pressures make sure that most people act in group interest most of the time…

Liars and Outliers and Moral Theology

  • Gaudete Theology
  • March 18, 2012

Full disclosure: Bruce has been a dear friend of mine for thirty years, and I was an early reader of several drafts of this book.

This is not a theology book—although it is in the top ten books on business ethics at Amazon. It’s a book about trust and society, as seen through an evolutionary paradigm, strongly informed by concepts from game theory. But there’s a lot in it that is useful and applicable to moral theology.

Unlike many books that take an evolutionary or game-theory approach to decision-making, Bruce does not reduce the concept of “self-interest” to meaninglessness by defining it strictly based on “what people do”, and then circularly insisting that people are motivated entirely by self interest. Instead, he acknowledges that people can have multiple, competing interests: some of which are purely self-interested, some of which arise from membership in one or more groups, and some of which can be purely disinterested…

Review: Bruce Schneier’s “Liars and Outliers”

  • David Heath
  • ITWire
  • March 16, 2012

Sometimes it takes an expert from the wrong discipline to expose the hidden truths that guide our faith in one-another; our desire to do the right thing and why it is that some people break all the rules.

Trust is a tenuous concept.  More, it is something of a ‘Goldilocks Phenomenon’ in that too much is just about as bad as too little.

If everyone in our family / group / society / country was both trusting and trustworthy, we would never know to recognise the first non-trustworthy person to come along.  Alternately, if too many people were untrustworthy, very little would get done, and the world would quickly run out of steel-reinforced doors.  But how much is the right level of trust?…

Book Review: Liars and Outliers by Bruce Schneier

  • namastekirgisis93
  • Usability | Security | Freedom
  • March 11, 2012

I recently read Bruce Schneier’s latest book – Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive.

It’s a good book, of potential interest not just to technology people, but also to anyone wishing to understand more about the way the world works. Schneier uses a wealth of examples to demonstrate that without implicit trust towards pretty much everyone around us, society falls apart.

Reading this book convinced me once more that calls for more surveillance and a more extensive police state must be resisted. The underlying assumption (that crime can be brought down to 0% if only we give up most of our liberties) is a false one. Schneier convincingly argues that the cost of wiping out crime is too high for society – we should therefore stop the hysteria about “total security” and get on with our lives…

Video: Interview: Liars and Outliers

  • RSA Conference 2012
  • March 5, 2012

Davi Ottenheimer, President of flyingpenguin, interviews Bruce Schneier on his latest book.

We don’t demand a background check on the plumber who shows up to fix the leaky sink. We don’t do a chemical analysis on food we eat. In the absence of personal relationships, we have no choice but to substitute confidence for trust, compliance for trustworthiness. This progression has enabled society to scale to unprecedented complexity, but has also permitted massive global failures. At the same time, too much cooperation is bad. Without some level of rule-breaking, innovation and social progress become impossible. Society stagnates. Bruce Schneier, world-renowned for his level-headed thinking on security and technology, tackles this complex subject head-on. Society can’t function without trust, and yet must function even when people are untrustworthy…

Bruce Schneier’s Latest Book

  • Arnold Kling
  • EconLog
  • March 5, 2012

It’s Liars and Outliers, and I would rate it the best economics book of the year thus far. He writes about his book here and here.

Schneier views our lives from the perspective of game theory. Every day, we must decide whether to cooperate or to defect. Do I try to arrive at work on time, or do I show up late? Do I drive safely or aggressively? Do I support the goals of my department, or do I work for myself? Does my department support the goals of the larger organization, or does it pursue its own interests? Does the larger organization work to support the goals of the society to which it belongs, or does it pursue its own goals?…

Video: Interview: The Meaning of Trust in Today's Digital World

  • RSA Conference 2012
  • March 2, 2012

Bruce Schneier discussed his book Liars and Outliers at the RSA Conference 2012.

Watch the Video on Youtube

Liars and Outliers: Thoughts and Conclusions

  • Chimp with Pencil
  • March 2, 2012

In a previous post, we looked at the first half of Bruce Schneier’s interesting book. To recap, Liars and Outliers examines how trust mechanisms work, whether you’re ordering products online from people you’ve never met, or you’re paying a neighborhood kid to mow your lawn. In order for commerce to function, there must be a certain level of trust.

The second half of the book deals with Organizations, Corporations and Institutions and how their competing interests work out in real world situations. A model often used in the book is that of fishing. Overfishing will deplete the stock and eventually ruin the industry, so most individuals and companies don’t engage in it. However, ‘defectors’ may overfish because of the short term benefits and the low risk of getting caught…

Video: Bruce Schneier Tackles Sociology of Trust and Security

  • TechTarget
  • March 1, 2012

Bruce Schneier’s latest book, Liars and Outliers, is a departure from his previous landmark books on cryptography and information security. In Liars and Outliers, Schneier pulls back from technology and looks at trust and security and how those very human concepts have evolved in concert with  the development of cooperative societies to build the trust and security mechanisms we have today.

In this interview conducted at RSA Conference 2012, Schneier explains his interest in the sociology of security and trust and how today’s online interactions are changing the trust dynamic. He paints a not-so-bleak picture of why the Internet remains a trustworthy and viable platform for communication and ecommerce, and talks about whether social networking and technical feedback mechanisms comprise the new trust going forward…

RSA 2012: Are Software Liability Laws Needed?

  • Infosecurity
  • March 1, 2012

Software liability laws are needed to hold software companies accountable for making faulty products, argued Bruce Schneier, chief technology security officer with BT during a pro-con debate held Wednesday at the RSA Conference.

Schneier said that liability laws would transfer the economic cost for faulty software from the user to the developer and provide an incentive for the developer to fix the problem.

He compared the situation of the software market to the early days of the automobile industry when Congress passed laws that held auto manufacturers responsible for faulty vehicles that caused accidents. This prompted the auto industry to begin fixing the problems, such as stop using wooden wheels that would fall apart at high speeds…

RSA 2012: Three Greatest (And Suprising) Internet Security Dangers

  • Antone Gonsalves
  • CRN
  • February 29, 2012

Cybercriminals are not the greatest threat to Internet security. It’s the many forces trying to bend the world’s computer network to fit their interests.

That’s according to Bruce Schneier, a renowned security technologist and author of several books, including “Applied Cryptography.” Schneier told attendees Tuesday at the RSA Conference that the three greatest dangers are Big Data companies, poorly thought out government regulations, and the cyberwar arms race.

These threats foster instability through those lobbying for changes that further their self-interests, instead of what’s better universally, Schneier said. “The security community doesn’t have a lobby, common sense doesn’t have a lobby and technical excellence doesn’t have a lobby.”…

Government, Business, Military are Internet Security Threats

  • Iain Thompson
  • The Register
  • February 29, 2012

RSA 2012 Usually the bête noire of the annual RSA conference is the criminal hacking community, but security guru Bruce Schneier asserts that government, business, and the military may well pose a bigger threat to security professionals.

“The current risks to internet freedom, openness, and innovation don’t come from the bad guys—they are political and technical. I suppose I should call this talk ‘Layer eight and nine threats’,” he told his audience on Tuesday at RSA 2012.

Attempts at ill-conceived legislation are a major concern, he said. Outsiders trying to legislate something they have no understanding of (a “…

RSA 2012: Schneier on Why Anonymous Is Not a Group and Why They're Certainly Not As Good As You Think They Are

  • Infosecurity
  • February 29, 2012

At the RSA Conference 2012 in San Francisco, February 29, Bruce Schneier and Davi Ottenheimer discuss Schneier’s latest book and how to enable the trust that society needs to thrive.

Following on from Schneier’s talk yesterday on the three biggest risks to information security in 2012, this discussion focussed purely on the topic of Schneier’s latest book, Liars and Outliers.

Here are some of the session highlights:

  • Security depends on people. “I started in cryptography because I didn’t like people. I wanted to study numbers. Anyone in security needs to understand that people act in unpredictable ways.”…

RSA 2012: Schneier Reveals Three Biggest Information Security Risks in 2012

  • Infosecurity
  • February 29, 2012

In his session at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, February 28th 2012, Bruce Schneier listed what he perceives to be the three biggest risks to information security right now: The rise of big data; ill-conceived law enforcement regulations; and the cyberwar arms race.

The rise of big data

The rise of big data, Schneier declared, is inevitable due to the cost of saving data being so cheap. “It’s easy and cheaper to search than sort,” he said. “The collection of data is being aggravated – mainly so the companies doing it can make more money… Companies like Apple, Amazon and Google are all competing to be the company that monetises your data.”…

Trust and the Development of Institutions: Reviewing Liars & Outliers

  • Dave Algoso
  • Find What Works
  • February 29, 2012

I managed to snag an early copy of Bruce Schneier’s new book, Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive. It’s a bit different from the books you normally see reviewed on development blogs. I’m a fan of Schneier’s sensible commentary on security issues, so I thought his book might provide some insights relevant to development work. I read it with general questions about institutional development—and specifically the issue of corruption—in mind.

A theory of coercion, compliance and trust

Schneier’s book provides a framework for understanding trust, compliance, cooperation, defection, coercion, and security across a variety of contexts. He starts by noting that trust is essential for our daily lives: we have to trust that merchants won’t cheat us, that other commuters will drive safely, and that the money we put in our bank account will be safe. Our economic and political systems wouldn’t function without trust. And we, in turn, can only trust others if society finds ways to promote cooperation…

Book Review: Liars and Outliers

  • EC Rosenberg
  • EPIC Alert
  • February 29, 2012

“Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive,” Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier’s latest book, “Liars and Outliers,” isn’t about technology. Schneier, best known as a security and privacy guru, tackles a far larger issue than the World Wide Web: the webs of trust, relationships, reputation and security that have provided the framework for human society since our ancestors began living in groups. Trust may be a sobering topic, but Schneier doesn’t make the material heavy or dense; rather, it’s a genuinely fun and diverting read…

Nie Ma Działania Bez Zaufania

  • February 28, 2012

Bruce Schneier to jeden z najbardziej znanych na świecie ekspertów z zakresu kryptografii i bezpieczeństwa informacji. Jest autorem 11 książek oraz setek artykułów, jego blog „Schneier on Security” jest codziennie odwiedzany przez tysiące internautów. Bruce opublikował właśnie nową książkę pt. „Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive”.

Tym razem nie jest to jednak typowa książka o bezpieczeństwie, czego można się było spodziewać znając poprzednią twórczość oraz zainteresowania Schneidera. Bruce na swoim blogu sam przyznał, że książka bardzo ewaluowała w trakcie pisania. Ostatecznie powstała wyjątkowa publikacja – książka o zaufaniu i jego wpływie na społeczeństwo w którym funkcjonujemy…

Audio: Bright Ideas with Bruce Schneier

  • MPR News
  • February 27, 2012

Stephen Smith spoke with security expert Bruce Schneier about the importance of security in maintaining a flourishing society.

Lisen to the Audio on

Audio: Bruce Schneier on Liars and Outliers

  • Threatpost
  • February 27, 2012

Dennis Fisher talks with cryptographer and author Bruce Schneier about his new book, Liars and Outliers, the role of trust in society and security, the ways in which technology helps promote trust and how various groups and actors defect the norm and take advantage of that trust.

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Audio: Interview: New Threats to the Internet Infrastructure

  • RSA Conference 2012
  • February 24, 2012

Jean Friedman interviewed Bruce Schneier about his talk at RSA 2012.

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Schneier: Government, Big Data Pose Bigger 'Net Threat than Criminals

  • Dan Goodin
  • Ars Technica
  • February 23, 2012

As Bruce Schneier spent the past decade watching the growing rash of phishers, malware attacks, and identity theft, a new Internet threat has emerged that poses even greater risks, the security expert said.

Unlike the security risks posed by criminals, the threat from government regulation and data hoarders such as Apple and Google are more insidious because they threaten to alter the fabric of the Internet itself. They’re also different from traditional Internet threats because the perpetrators are shielded in a cloak of legitimacy. As a result, many people don’t recognize that their personal information or fortunes are more susceptible to these new forces than they ever were to the Russian Business Network or other Internet gangsters…

Bruce Schneier on Trust

Modern society depends on trust more than we realise, and the basis for that trust is security. The trick, says the security guru, is preserving the forces that allow us to trust one another, while also knowing who not to trust

  • Alec Ash
  • The Browser
  • February 23, 2012

You’re best known as a security expert but our theme today is “trust”. How would you describe the connection between the two?

Security exists to facilitate trust. Trust is the goal, and security is how we enable it. Think of it this way: As members of modern society, we need to trust all sorts of people, institutions and systems. We have to trust that they’ll treat us honestly, won’t take advantage of us and so on – in short, that they’ll behave in a trustworthy manner. Security is how we induce trustworthiness, and by extension enable trust…

Book Review: Liars and Outliers

  • Ben Rothke
  • Slashdot
  • February 22, 2012

It is said that the song Wipe Out launched a generation of drummers. In the world of information security, the classic Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C by Bruce Schneier may have been the book that launched a generation of new cryptographers. Schneier’s latest work of art is Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive. For those that are looking for a follow-up to Applied Cryptography, this it is not. In fact, it is hard to classify this as an information security title and in fact the book is marked for the current affairs/sociology section. Whatever section this book ultimately falls in, the reader will find that Schneier is one of the most original thinkers around…

Review: Secrets & Lies by Bruce Schneier

  • Mike Pennisi
  • February 21, 2012

I’m not sure how I first heard about Bruce Schneier, but his ideas have appealed to me for a while now. He has an impressive background in computer cryptography, but his transition to a personality in the field of security that interests me most. Utilizing a technical background to build a more socially-relevant identity is a feat I personally hope to accomplish one day (just like Tony Stark, “Mannie” O”Kelly-Davis, or Mitchell Hundred). But enough gushing; let’s talk about the book.

First of all, I bought Secrets & Lies expecting the kind of social commentary Schneier makes when writing about “security theater.” This is not that book. The author is clearly still developing his voice here; his focus is still largely on technology. Apart from a single brief aside on how people internalize sensational threats, this book provides little in the way of sociology…

REVIEW: Bruce Schneier, Liars and Outliers: …

  • Rob Slade
  • RISKS Digest
  • February 20, 2012

Chapter one is what would ordinarily constitute an introduction or preface to the book. Schneier states that the book is about trust: the trust that we need to operate as a society. In these terms, trust is the confidence we can have that other people will reliably behave in certain ways, and not in others. In any group, there is a desire in having people cooperate and act in the interest of all the members of the group. In all individuals, there is a possibility that they will defect and act against the interests of the group, either for their own competing interest, or simply in opposition to the group. (The author notes that defection is not always negative: positive social change is generally driven by defectors.) Actually, the text may be more about social engineering, because Schneier does a very comprehensive job of exploring how confident we can be about trust, and they ways we can increase (and sometimes inadvertently decrease) that reliability…

Bruce Schneier’s Liars and Outliers: How Do You Trust in a Networked World?

  • Cory Doctorow
  • Boing Boing
  • February 17, 2012

John Scalzi’s Big Idea introduces Bruce Schneier’s excellent new book Liars and Outliers, and interviews Schneier on the work that went into it. I read an early draft of the book and supplied a quote: “Brilliantly dissects, classifies, and orders the social dimension of security-a spectacularly palatable tonic against today’s incoherent and dangerous flailing in the face of threats from terrorism to financial fraud.” Now that the book is out, I heartily recommend it to you.

It’s all about trust, really. Not the intimate trust we have in our close friends and relatives, but the more impersonal trust we have in the various people and systems we interact with in society. I trust airline pilots, hotel clerks, ATMs, restaurant kitchens, and the company that built the computer I’m writing this short essay on. I trust that they have acted and will act in the ways I expect them to. This type of trust is more a matter of consistency or predictability than of intimacy…

Trust and Society: A Review of Liars & Outliers by Bruce Schneier

  • Paul Baccas
  • Naked Security
  • February 17, 2012

When I was asked to review this book I was very pleased as I was able to get away from my day job of researching and analyzing new malware and spam. I’m not a book reviewer but here’s what I thought of his book.

Bruce Schneier’s new book, Liars & Outliers, is subtitled “Enabling the trust that society needs to thrive”, and the word ‘society’ is key here.

Unlike many of the books that Schneier has written, this is not a technical book but it does describe—clearly and concisely—the problems that we, the computer security professionals, provide technical solutions for…

13 Security Myths You'll Hear—But Should You Believe?

  • Ellen Messmer
  • Network World
  • February 14, 2012


Security Myth No. 1: “More Security is Always Better.”

Bruce Schneier, security expert and author of several books, including his most recent, Liars and Outliers, explains why this security concept of “you can’t get enough” that’s often bandied about is off the mark to him. Schneier explains: “More security isn’t necessarily better. First security is always a trade-off, and sometimes additional security costs more than it’s worth. For example, it’s not worth spending $100,000 to protect a donut. Yes, the donut would be more secure, but it would make more sense to simply risk the donut.” He also notes that “additional security is subject to diminishing returns. That is, measures that reduce a particular crime—say, shoplifting—by 25% cost some amount of money; but additional measures to reduce it another 25% cost much more. There will always be a point where more security isn’t worth it. And as a corollary, absolute security is not achievable.” Sometimes security may even become a moral choice and being in compliance might be an immoral decision, as it could pertain to a totalitarian system, for example. “Security enforces compliance, and sometimes complying isn’t the right thing to do.”…

Trust and Society

  • David Lacey
  • David Lacey's IT Security Blog
  • February 14, 2012

I used to think that Bruce Schneier was out of touch with industry CISOs, but now I think that they are out of touch with him. He’s come on tremendously in recent years. I saw him present to the United Nations last year and he was awesome, reflecting a lot of research and deep thinking about important issues such as trust, risk, surveillance and cyber warfare.

I shall be ordering a copy of his new book Liars and Outliers. It’s about trust, a subject I find both relevant and fascinating. Trust is a phenomenon that few security researchers seem to understand. The problem is that it’s a means to an end, and makes little sense when studied in isolation from its purpose…

Liars & Outliers, o cómo se articula la confianza

  • Jose Alcántara
  • Versvs
  • February 13, 2012

Liars & Outliers es el nuevo libro de Bruce Schneier que recibí hace unas semanas por cortesía de Wiley. Aunque el libro sale a la venta en los próximos días, ya se puede pedir en pre-order y ciertamente si ya han leído otros libros de Schneier, seguramente no se arrepentirán de buscar este Liars & outliers. Pero antes de que nadie se aburra, vamos con algo de chicha sobre el libro 🙂

Schneier, como es habitual, construye un ensayo sólido al que dota de un relato y un hilo conductor que te va desglosando en capítulos-píldora de unas 20 páginas. Por hacer un símil rápido, y salvando las (enormes) distancias, …

Liars and Outliers: Thoughts on Societal Trust in Bruce Schneier’s New Book

  • Chimp with Pencil
  • Mark Boss

The subtitle of Liars and Outliers is “Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive,” and it’s a good explanation of the author’s direction. He looks at how trust mechanisms work, whether you’re ordering products online from people you’ve never met, or you’re paying a neighborhood kid to mow your lawn. In order for commerce to function, there must be a certain level of trust.

But how do we build these trust models? And what do we do when someone cheats us? Schneier labels those who don’t cooperate in society as ‘defectors’ because they go against the rules. Normally we might associate their behavior with lying, cheating, and stealing, but in Schneier’s model, defectors can play a role in changing societies that are unjust, such as with slavery or apartheid. I think this approach may confuse the issue somewhat, since the main point of the book is trust in a commercial sense—can you safely do business with this person or company?…

Why The Global System is Killing Trust

  • John Robb
  • Global Guerrillas
  • February 9, 2012

Trust is an essential building block of any economic and social system. Systems that attempt to operate without it inevitably fail. A loss of trust typically precedes a collapse in legitimacy.

That’s our future. Here’s why:

Let’s start with a philosopher “king” of crypt0-security, Bruce Schneier. He has a new book out called “Liars and Outliers.” The book is all about the mechanisms for building trust. There are four mechanisms:

  • moral controls,
  • reputational pressure (shame),
  • institutional pressure (legal system), and
  • security controls (encryption, locks, etc.)…

Audio: Guarding Without Guardians

Bruce Schneier is concerned that without trust, society itself may be impossible

  • IEEE Spectrum
  • February 9, 2012

Socrates famously asked if a person could lead a just life in an unjust society. A new book, Liars & Outliers, by Bruce Schneier doesn’t in so many words raise the question, Can a person lead a secure life in an insecure society? but it does answer it. There’s only so much we can do without there being a framework of trust: There have to be moral codes; peer pressures are needed; institutions have to have their own codes of conduct, and so on.

It’s hard to imagine such a book being written by anyone but Bruce Schneier, one of the world’s foremost authorities on security. He started out in cryptography and published some world-class algorithms, but he quickly came to realize that the mathematics was rarely the weak link in the security chain. His books, starting with the best-selling …

Book Review: Liars and Outliers

  • Wendy M Grossman
  • ZDNet UK Book Reviews
  • February 6, 2012

During the 2003 London march to protest the beginning of the Iraq war, we shuffled very, very slowly over a clogged Waterloo Bridge. Monitoring helicopters waggled overhead. I marvelled at living in a society where 2 million people could protest under the eye of police without fear—that the government went on to ignore those 2 million protesters is a different issue.

That is a demonstration of trust, the subject of Bruce Schneier’s latest book, Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive. Schneier is well known for his security books such as Applied Cryptography and Secrets and Lies. But, as he argues at the beginning of Liars and Outliers, if you do not understand how trust works you cannot make good decisions about security…

"Liars and Outliers" by Bruce Schneier

  • Matt Sarrel
  • Byte
  • February 1, 2012

Society runs on trust and would collapse without it. The interconnectedness of the modern world creates new and dangerous risks to trust.

Bruce Schneier‘s recent book Liars and Outliers is a philosophical exploration of the role of trust in society, and is likely to appeal more to policy makers and academics than to information security practitioners. He describes how theories regarding trust (and perhaps trust itself) have evolved over time and sets this within the context of today’s global interconnected society.

Schneier has done a very careful literature review, citing theories and experiments across multiple disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, and psychology. The computer scientist will find that the book does a very good job of discussing abstract concepts, while the computer professional will find that it lacks a concreteness needed for it to be useful in their daily work…

Review: Liars & Outliers

Bruce Schneier's New Book Explores the Relationships of Trust on Which Civilization Depends

  • Paul Wallich
  • IEEE Spectrum
  • February 1, 2012

Bruce Schneier is a security icon, the cryptological equivalent of action-movie superstar Chuck Norris, able to straighten elliptic curves with his bare hands. Liars & Outliers isn’t the book you’d expect from someone whose portrait adorns posters—nor from the coauthor of several important encryption algorithms (one of them a finalist for the next generation of national encryption standards).

On his blog, Schneier reminds us almost daily that protecting our secrets with a 4096-bit key doesn’t do much good if we have to tape the new pass phrase to our monitors, and that an unforgeable ID card can be a very bad idea if someone can get one by slipping 20 bucks to a file clerk. In …

Liars and Outliers

  • Curtis Frye
  • Technology and Society
  • February 2012

Liars and Outliers, Bruce Schneier’s most recent security-related text, is an interesting and wide-ranging review of trust in commerce and broader society. And I do mean wide-ranging—he covers everything from the implications of early mankind’s organization into groups of around 150 individuals (the “Dunbar number”) to reputation systems such as eBay and Yelp reviews. Liars and Outliers doesn’t hang together quite as well as his previous books, but it’s still a terrific primer for readers who want more insights into the complex world of security and trust…

Review: Liars & Outliers

Bruce Schneier’s new book explores the relationships of trust on which civilization depends

  • Paul Wallich
  • IEEE Spectrum
  • February 1, 2012

Bruce Schneier is a security icon, the cryptological equivalent of action-movie superstar Chuck Norris, able to straighten elliptic curves with his bare hands. Liars & Outliers isn’t the book you’d expect from someone whose portrait adorns posters—nor from the coauthor of several important encryption algorithms (one of them a finalist for the next generation of national encryption standards).

On his blog, Schneier reminds us almost daily that protecting our secrets with a 4096-bit key doesn’t do much good if we have to tape the new pass phrase to our monitors, and that an unforgeable ID card can be a very bad idea if someone can get one by slipping 20 bucks to a file clerk. In …

Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

  • Robert Schaefer
  • New York Journal of Books
  • February 1, 2012

Over the years an incredible amount of ink has been spilled on the concept of trust. What it is, why it’s important, how to achieve it, how to keep it, how to spread it around the Internet like margarine on toast. The difficulty in all this is trust is subjective. Trust is a human measure, inseparable from personal judgment, custom, culture, and law.

Trust, as the author states, “is relative, fluid, and multidimensional.” And Bruce Schneier’s Liars and Outliers is a far flung and wide-ranging study of trust touching on anthropology, sociology, economics political philosophy, social theories behavioral economics, rational choice theory, bounded rationality theory, and contract theory…

Book Review: Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

  • Roger A. Grimes
  • InfoWorld Security Central
  • January 31, 2012

I’ve always considered anything written by Bruce Schneier to be part of my ongoing education about IT security. Like Warren Buffet of the financial world, Schneier has a special talent for simplifying complex IT concepts by stripping away the fat. Each book is like its own little graduate course on whichever subject he happens to be discussing. I had a chance to review a pre-release of his forthcoming book “Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive,” and I can say that it is among his best. It explores the end-game emotion for all computer security, trust—and it prompted me to rethink my long-standing proposal for fixing the Internet…

Why Doesn't Society Just Fall Apart?

  • Adam Thierer
  • Forbes
  • January 23, 2012

Since the days when Plato and Aristotle walked this Earth, philosophers have debated what constitutes the ideal state and, more specifically, what holds societies together. Why doesn’t society just fall apart? How does society function when you know you can’t possibly trust everyone in it? And why aren’t we living in what Thomas Hobbes memorably referred to as a state of constant “war of all against all“?

There is no single or simple answer, says security technologist Bruce Schneier in his enlightening new book, Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.