In “This is how they tell me the world is over,” Nicole Perlroth gives another explanation for the growing cyber harassment in the United States: how Washington, carelessly hastily dominates. this sector, which has generated and raised an extremely lucrative, completely unregulated gray market for the extremely dangerous digital weapons that private hackers develop and then sell. to the highest bidder. It is only sometimes the United States.
Perlroth, a cybersecurity reporter at The New York Times, has written a detailed, deeply rooted and reported history of the origins and growth of that market and the arms race on the global cyberspace that it has caused. As she describes her book, “it’s the story of our vast digital vulnerability, how and why exist, how and why exist, about declared governments. cascading and activating it as well as growing stakes for all of us. “
This is not a bloodless chronicle, to be exact. Written in the sizzling, hot prose of a spy thriller, Perlroth’s book has frightened us from the very beginning with its complacency – and (for me, at least) it was successful. As a storyteller, Perlroth reaches the reader the hard way, like an angry Cassandra who has spent the last seven years of her life (all the time in her career at The Times and more or less the time she spent on the book) revealing the signs of our impending doom – only to be ignored over and over again.
About who is most blamed for our current cybersecurity – in which we are all the targets and the technologies for which we, our governments and our infrastructure providers we rely on are now infiltrated at will by foreign agents – Perlroth is a bit suspicious. Certainly, the hackers who actually create all those nasty little stuff and then sell them to whatever government will pay the most money – no questions asked – must bear the main responsibility. And certainly, the foreign countries that use these tools against us or their people are also guilty. But this wouldn’t happen, Perlroth argued, if Washington hadn’t decided years ago to ignore cyberdefense and instead focus on paying programmers around the world to find and weaponize these The gap in existing software – a gap known as “zero days” in the industry – grants their users “digital superpowers”. (The term “zero days” stems from the fact that when a technology company finds such a flaw in its software or hardware, they have no day to fix it or suffer the consequences. )
According to Perlroth, if activating this market was Washington’s original sin, their second catastrophic mistake, according to Perlroth, was Stuxnet: the computer worm the United States allegedly used to destroy 1. / 5 of centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment plant in 2009-10. While the worm, a great technological breakthrough, may have averted an Israeli attack on Iran, hindered Tehran’s weapons program and pushed nations into the negotiating table, it also broke. a basic rule: This is the first time a government has digitally hacked into someone else’s network and used its access not to spy – which everyone does – but to destroy things. matter. Perlroth argues that once the gentlemen’s rule is broken, it will become the opening season for America’s enemies to try to do the same with it; and it is only a matter of time, she concludes, until we face a digital Pearl Harbor match.