Cybersecurity and cyberwar: What everyone needs to know.
The setting was a Washington, DC, conference room. The speaker was a senior leader of the US Department of Defense. The topic was why he thought cybersecurity and cyberwar was so important. And yet, when he could only describe the problem as «all this cyber stuff,» he unintentionally convinced us to write this book.
Both of us are in our thirties and yet still remember the first computers we used. For a five-year-old Allan, it was an early Apple Macintosh in his home in Pittsburgh. Its disk space was so limited that it could not even fit this book into its memory. For a seven-year-old Peter, it was a Commodore on display at a science museum in North Carolina. He took a class on how to «program,» learning an entire new language for the sole purpose of making one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind print out a smiley face. It spun out of a spool printer, replete with the perforated paper strips on the side.
Three decades later, the centrality of computers to our lives is almost impossible to comprehend. Indeed, we are so surrounded by computers that we don’t even think of them as «computers» anymore. We are woken by computerized clocks, take showers in water heated by a computer, drink coffee brewed in a computer, eat oatmeal heated up in a computer, then drive to work in a car controlled by hundreds of computers, while sneaking peeks at the last night’s sport scores on a computer. And then at work, we spend most of our day pushing buttons on a computer, an experience so futuristic in our parents’ day that it was the stuff of The Jetsons (George Jetson’s job was a «digital index operator»).
Part I. How it all works
Part II. Why it matters
Part III. What can we do?
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