Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Computer security in the machine age.

The complexity of modern technology makes it terribly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. So many devices have been attacked and compromised that when faced with any given piece of technology, the safest assumption to make is that it has been or will be subverted.

For today's devices, the consequences don't intrude so much into the physical world. Some money may get stolen; a website may be defaced, some industrial (or military) secrets stolen, but (Stuxnet aside), the potential for physical death, damage & destruction is limited.

For tomorrow's devices, the story is quite terrifying. A decade from now, the world will be filled with thousands upon thousands of autonomous cars and lorries, domestic robots and UAVs.

Today, criminals use botnets are used to send spam and commit advertising fraud. Tomorrow, what will malicious hackers do when their botnet contains tens of thousands of robot cars and trucks?

What can we do to change the trajectory of this story? What can we do to alter it's conclusion?