Monday, May 05, 2014

The future I want to prevent

I've written often about the inadequacy of our current approach to computer security. The biggest problem we face isn't technological, its our hidden, deeply entrenched assumptions about what is (and isn't) possible to do with computing, in general.

I want to describe some of the things I see coming down the road, if we continue our current course of action, hopefully to expand our imagination a bit, and to create the necessary cognitive dissonance to shake things up, and rouse us all to finally fix this, and get on with our lives.

Scenario 1: The I-95 virus.

April 27, 2021  The entire Northeast United States goes under Martial law to deal with the latest cyber-attack. Launched by the "free peoples party of Belgium", it has disabled all Toyota, Lexus, Ford, and Kenworth vehicles implementing the new V2V standard. Over 250,000 vehicles were involved in a series of accidents that took place at 6:51 AM EST.

In the weeks that follow, computer experts determine that a zero day flaw in the subsystem supplied by Acme Limited was successfully exploited to cause this cascade effect. The simultaneous disruption of so many vehicles contributed to the 1,000,000+ injuries and yet unknown number of deaths.

... more scenarios to follow.

1 comment:

Fred Zimmerman said...

So, how much of that scenario is based on existing technology, and how much on technology that you assume will be created? This is not to say this isn't a valid scenario. but it would help me wrap my mind around it a bit more.