Cyberphobia

Title:                      Cyberphobia

Author:                 Edward Lucas

Lucas, Edward (2015). Cyberphobia: Identity, Trust, Security And The Internet. New York; London: Bloomsbury, USA an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing

LCCN:    2015015882

HV8079.C65 L83 2015

Contents

  • Meet the Hakhetts — The unreliability of computers — Identity and its enemies — Collateral damage — The geopolitics of the Internet — Spies v warriors — The spy in your pocket — The danger of monoculture — Clearing the jungle — Passwords unscrambled — Identity politics — Turning the tables.

Subjects

Date Posted:      February 6, 2017

Reviewed in The Intelligencer[1]

As we go about our lives in cyberspace, it has made us highly vulnerable. Economist editor Lucas, says “Digital technology exposes every area of our lives to attacks and renders outdated our assumptions about safety.” He provides a list of hidden dangers faced by individuals and corporations, examining “swamping” attacks by botnets (hijacked computers). Those who enjoy the heavily marketed “wired lifestyle” are unaware of the risks to their identity, privacy, and finances because fraud, piracy, and malware lurk behind many online interactions.

Lucas details the various schemes by criminals, pranksters, “hacktivists,” and government agencies to gain access to information on computers to steal identities, data, and records and to wreak havoc—for example, the Gameover Zeus botnet attack caused more than $100 million in financial losses after infecting more than 500,000 computers between September 2011 and May 2014. Among the more infamous attacks are breaches of security at Target, Sony, and numerous banks and government agencies, and the efforts by Chinese and Russian governments to steal intellectual property and secrets of geopolitical competitors.

More catastrophic are hackers at an international level that have begun stealing national security, economic, and trade secrets. The world economy and geopolitics hang in the balance. He lists precautions for readers, yet regulations for improved security are hampered by paranoia following Edward Snowden’s disclosures of how national security surveillance programs to protect the population are misperceived as being used to spy on ordinary citizens.

[1] The Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies (21, 3, Fall/Winter 2015, pp. 137-138).

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