Nor would a cyborg be necessary today. According to U.
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Many of them probably drive cellular-enabled cars that run outdated firmware, use public unencrypted Wi-Fi, and visit doctors who keep unsecured health care records about patient allergies and current medications on computers running the infamously outdated and vulnerable Windows XP operating system. So far, the U. These days, warfare is conducted on land, by sea, in the air, across space, and now in the fifth battleground: cyberspace.
Yet so far, the U.
Those third parties operate under exactly the same incentives as any pharmaceutical company. The nature of cyberwarfare is that it is asymmetric. Single combatants can find and exploit small holes in the massive defenses of countries and country-sized companies. Instead, it will likely be mundane strikes against industrial control systems, transportation networks, and health care providers—because their infrastructure is out of date, poorly maintained, ill-understood, and often unpatchable.
Worse will be the invisible manipulation of public opinion and election outcomes using digital tools such as targeted advertising and deep fakes—recordings and videos that can realistically be made via artificial intelligence to sound like any world leader. The great challenge for military and cybersecurity professionals is that incoming attacks are not predictable, and current strategies for prevention tend to share the flawed assumption that the rules of conventional war extend to cyberspace as well.
Moreover, these rules are not intuitive to generals versed in fighting conventional wars. Defense Department and at Microsoft over office software contracts with U. Immigration and Customs Enforcement demonstrate.
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That leaves only governments and properly incentivized multinational corporations to set the rules. Neither has yet provided a workable and operational definition of what constitutes a globally recognized act of war—a vital first step in seeking to prevent such transgressions.
The closest that the U. But given how quickly a cyberattack could disable critical infrastructure, expecting Congress to react in time to answer effectively is unrealistic. In a world where partisan politics have been weaponized, a smart misinformation campaign by a foreign state that targeted only one political party might even be welcomed by other parties so long as there was plausible deniability—and with cyberattacks, attribution is rarely certain.
There is also a serious risk of collateral damage in cyberoperations. Most militaries understand that they are responsible not only for targeting strikes so that they hit valid targets but also for civilian casualties caused by their actions. Though significant collateral damage assessment occurs prior to the United States authorizing cyberoperations, there is no international agreement requiring other powers to take the same care.
A major cyberattack against the United States in was a clear example of how civilians can bear the brunt of such operations. A hostile country hit a U. The conventional warfare equivalent might look like the physical destruction of a Texas oil field or an Appalachian coal mine.
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If such a valuable civilian resource had been intentionally destroyed by a foreign adversary, it would be considered an act of war. In the near future, attacks like the Sony hack will not be exceptional. There are countless vulnerabilities that could result in mass casualties, and there are no agreed norms or rules to define or punish such crimes. Consider the following examples. But we can still prevent our household appliances from becoming an army of malicious computer zombies out to destroy the web. Once a week, a European aircraft manufacturer cleans all plane cockpits of Android malware.
Pilots can pass malware to the plane from their smartphones when they plug them in, which the plane while theoretically unaffected by phone-only malware then passes it on to the next pilot with a smartphone. Planes are already covered in viruses, both virtual and microbial. In such a vulnerable environment, even an unsophisticated hack could wreak havoc.
A text message sent to the phone of every in-air pilot giving them a national security warning or rerouting their planes could lead to emergency landings and widespread confusion, with more sophisticated attacks potentially leading to far more serious consequences. Aviation is not the only vulnerable sector. The U. Small hospitals often cannot afford to replace their medical equipment on a regular schedule, and device providers may deprioritize or block security patches or upgrades in order to sell updated devices in the next round of production. The medical device industry focuses more on performance and patient health outcomes than on keeping a cyberadversary at bay.
A cyberattack on hospitals using robotic surgical devices could cause them to malfunction while in use, resulting in fatal injuries. If a country or terrorist group decided to take out a sitting U. Nor do there appear to be clear protocols for retaliation. There are less direct potential vectors of attack, too. Recently, a cold storage facility for embryos in Cleveland failed to notice that a remotely accessible alarm on its holding tanks had been turned off, leading to the loss of more than 4, frozen eggs and embryos.
Many operators of industrial control systems never bother to change all their default passwords or security credentials, which can leave them vulnerable to ransomware attacks, and even fewer health care officials are likely to assume that someone might deliberately shut off sensors that monitor the viability of future human life. It is difficult to determine whether the Cleveland eggs and embryos were lost due to a simple maintenance failure or deliberate tampering—but as techniques such as the freezing of eggs become more common in wealthy nations, such a simple attack could wipe out thousands of future citizens.
The two acts are equally heinous on a moral level. The uncertainty in attribution and the lack of an easily identified villain may make the latter seem the province of science fiction. But it is not.
Cyberattacks—some egregious, some mundane—are happening now, quietly and unnoticed by the public. Much of the confusion and fear over cybersecurity comes from the distorted publicity surrounding a few outlying events. The risk of cyberattacks is knowable, probabilistically. Technology and cyberspace are changing faster than countries can legislate internally and negotiate externally. Part of the problem with defining and evaluating acts of cyberwarfare against the United States is that U.
The legal status of most information security research in the United States therefore remains unclear, as it is governed by the poorly drafted and arbitrarily enforced Computer Fraud and Abuse Act CFAA —a piece of legislation that was roundly derided by tech experts on its inception and has only grown more unpopular since. The law creates unnecessary fear that simple and useful information security research methods could be maliciously prosecuted.
These methods include network scanning using tools such as Nmap a computer network discovery and mapping tool or Shodan a search engine for devices on the internet of things to find unsecured points of access to systems.
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One of the fastest fixes for the dismal state of federal cybersecurity expertise would be to overturn the CFAA and reward cybersecurity researchers engaged in preventive research instead of tying their hands with fears of breaking the law. Yet at present the U. This dynamic has left the U. The United States simply lacks a viable legislative plan for hardening its infrastructure against cyberattacks and developing much-needed cybertalent. Any strong defense against cyberattacks should follow the same principles used for basic U. For example, the interstate highway system in the United States, authorized in to enable rapid military transport of troops and supplies, also had much broader civilian benefits.
Now, through neglect, roads in the United States are riddled with potholes, widening cracks, and crumbling asphalt; thousands of deaths on U. Yet potholes are the most boring problem imaginable for a policymaker. By contrast, whenever a bridge collapses, it grabs headlines—even though a comparatively small number of people per year die from bridge catastrophes.
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Incident response is appealing; it lets policymakers show their leadership chops in front of cameras, smoke, and sirens. The drudgery of repairing underlying problems and preventing the disasters in the first place takes a back seat. This is dull but essential policy work, and the same goes for technology infrastructure. And if it were rooted we can accept the possibility , it would be as it was for Woolf: I am rooted, but I flow. Consequently, do not waste your time on this book if you intend to fill a bookshelf of your mind tattooed with a heading of established wisdom. This is not a book that revisits what the extant bookshelves of the world already know or corroborate.
And although an analysis of contemporary culture, Internet, the political theories about the individual, the economics of private spaces, the construction of identity and the critical observation of the spaces of intimacy are contained in the writing that follows, they are like a liquid that is not impervious to interplay and mixture.
Indeed, it would even like to risk changing categories from a resigned and grumbling title to one of imagination, space and potential. You should know that you are not obliged to read this book. Without vanity, it does not hide the fact it navigates through the blends of daily life, where specialists able to understand and accept the most complicated scientific images turn stupid, in the dismantling sphere of a momentary collision with the incapacity of living.
You will find that the conclusions herein do not set out to lay the foundations for a new online revolutionary, post-capitalist movement with cells in each of those rooms of your own. We do, however, welcome any radical plans that may be inferred, any significative re-location undertaken so as to begin the task of re-semanticizing the critical practice and subjectivity of our on-screen lives.
A rejection of linearity and disciplinarity from a non-unitary perspective of discourse, does not necessarily lead to a kind of cognitive relativism, but rather, to a network of vanishing point lines in the manner of a theoretical project that does not discard the creativity of contradiction and doubt; lines that may join the conversation with questions of their own, which have yet to be cracked by an accepted order of things, as they do not wish to reiterate that which has been said before.
Unafraid, they seek to disorder to make us think differently. These possibilities of reception, if they actually manage to be built during the act of reading, do not shoot from a blue, monochrome, clean, transcendental, tidy, specious prism or from an ambitious question of zeitgeist. Their origin is more modest and untidy, more liminal, yet more authentic too perhaps. I am referring to a connected self which spends more and more time in a room of its own; a self which refuses to yield its willpower to the mediated and rapid symbolic excess of its everyday world —as though its willpower were something tired and useless, a little finger, an ornate fingernail.
I am referring to a self that is disappointed by the lack of imagination in the ideation of new on-screen critical figurations , a self which questions itself about the present state of the subjective construction with careful deliberation. Accordingly, I will speak from the legitimacy of the self which, despite being intertwined in identities of the age, knows itself would like itself to be agent of its words, even when its words are a quote, appropriation or parody of others.
Consequently, I should tell you that I exist. I am not a wiki-style avatar operated by a number of individuals, nor a fiction masking a textual experiment. I should tell you that I have a body, desires, doubts, manias and questions. And from this position of embodied materialism I am aware of my own cultural and geopolitical location in Southern Europe, oscillating between the rural and the urban world, and in a time balanced between the end of a century which never completely dies and the beginning of a new one, a non-static position, which changes as I write.
Very shortly you will see how these changes which I suggest are related to our days connected to the Internet and which were not heralded by the collapse of towers, or by pictures of thirty-something year olds removing their belongings in cardboard boxes under a suddenly decrepit Lehman Brothers sign to the rhythm of the beat of the stock markets which also collapse. There is no epic picture that symbolizes the change I am referring to. It is a change devoid of the roar of finance, of wars for petroleum and of real physical death.