world war E
dispatches from the network society

hacking 2.0

A recent report frets that the proliferation of web 2.0 applications (and attendent network integration) could expose companies to greater risk of cyber-attack.

Obviously, the advance of internet software technology and the increasing enmeshment of social systems in digital networks constitutes a symbiotic process with both dramatic benefits and new risks. It remains for behavior in the network society to catch up to technology – a process, if previous ephocal innovations offer any lesson, that is long, hard and fraught with conflict.

2 Responses to “hacking 2.0”

  1. This might be the most obvious “finding” Ive seen all week (though its only wednesday) Posting information on the internet clearly exposes one to more risk of identity theft and viruses. Remember how paranoid everyone was in the 90’s when computer viruses first became the cool thing for hacker to get involved in. This does, however, point to a greater threat, which is our increasing dependency on electronic infrastructure. Though this fella thinks the is
    No such thing as cyber terror, Im not heartened by the estonia attacks a couple of months ago.

  2. Thanks for the links. You are dead correct about the obvious risks of greater internet connectivity – it seems like the main problem is, As the internet is democratized, it moves beyond the core of technical people who understand the risks into the general public that does not. Think about efforts to raise awareness of public health risks like smoking, drunk driving, HIV, trans-fat, etc. – it reaches into billions, if not tens of billions, of dollars in wealthy countries. Yet comparable investments have not been made in terms of conditioning behavior governing electronic systems. For the most part, people cede their control to the system itself – they ‘trust’ that Microsoft or whoever will protect them, even though Microsoft is a private corporation concerned about its profitability, not its social function. I am reminded of Ed Norton’s character in Fight Club, who gives the equation for a car company doing a recall. In fact, we see all the time that even if Windows was 100% secure from a software perspective, that is only 50% of total security, which includes minimizing risky behavior.

    So: what can governments, corporations and civil society do to train their citizens – especially those with access to sensitive systems – in the kinds of behaviors that are necessary for security in the network society?

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