Saturday, January 27, 2018
Time: "Cybersecurity: Hacking, the Dark Web, and You"
Time has a Special Edition coffee table book. “Cybersecurity: Hacking, the Dark Web, and You”.
The most startling chapter is the third, “Inside the Hack of the Century”, by Peter Elkind, about the hack of Sony Pictures in late 2014 as the showing of “The Interview” approached.(Movies, Dec. 27, 2014). Sony had weak security, although this was probably comparable to what many companies had at the time (individuals and small businesses are much better at this). And the consequences, including the doxing of employees, were horrific, and for a time theaters felt threatened by Commie-terror attacks. Today, the incident reminds one of the possibility that a foreign enemy (like North Korea) could try to undermine our system by going after much smaller businesses or individuals it didn't like, just to prove it could do it.
Robert Hackett writes about “Google’s Elite Hacker Swat Team” (p. 42), about how they detected a vulnerability at Cloudflare in February 2017, and how Cloudflare (later prominent in shutting down Daily Stormer) fixed it in London in the middle of the night. The SWAT team Project Zero has recently exposed the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerability of Intel chips.
Massimo Calabresi writes “The Secret History of an Election”, p. 34, about how the Obama administration would have called out the military to protect voting systems, but it couldn’t stop the fake news manipulation on social media that preceded the election.
Charlotte Alter writes on p. 22 “Fighting Revenge Porn”, which gives the gratuitous web one of its most serious challenges in the downstream liability (Section 230) issues. It also shows how difficult “online reputation” can be to manage.
“The Deep Web” on p. 12, by Lev Grossman and Jay Newton Small, gives a biography of Ross Ulbricht and the story of the Silk Road, which was supposed to be legitimate but which the government claims is used mostly for evasive purposes.
The book concludes with the usual home safety tips.