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Creeping Failure: How We Broke the Internet and What We Can Do to Fix It Hardcover – International Edition, August 24, 2010
— Winnipeg Free Press
"Until public policy steps in to shape Internet security, the World Wide Web could basically go up in flames at any moment....We have to act now. Hunker offers us his suggestions for a new 'social contract,' in which cyber security is regarded as a public good, much as health is."
— Globe and Mail
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
It's amazingly readable -- intelligent and conversational, with a field of reference from ninety-eight-year-old Encyclopaedia Britannica to Bruce Willis movies, including reams of federal agency publications that we've paid for but don't know about: the reader is guided here by an Everyman with (I assume) a Phi-Bete and a pretty high security clearance; we go from botnets and cyber war to a brief fantasia on the back of President Clinton's head.
Hunker clearly makes the point that any new design for the Internet* should be addressed methodically and with care, not in frenzied reaction to catastrophe ("amid the hot fog of crisis," in one of Hunker's more resonant phrases); the sooner such work begins, the better. As a private citizen without any heft or expertise, I can follow the logic and be grateful for the elucidation, but can only hope that those with influence can be brought on board. People high up in the computer industry, as well as in the legislative and executive branches of government, probably know some of the issues Hunker addresses, but do their staffers?Read more ›
The author begins by outlining the problems faced by the technical community. Some of these I was aware of however the extent was greater than I realized. For example both Chinese and Russian groups were far more aggressive in attacking systems than I imagined and over a third of US agencies including the DOD received a grade of F on the "Federal Security Report Card". (pp 129 - DOD to be fair is extremely large and diverse; DOJ, NSF, Social Security and the EPA all received A or better). The attacks are usually distributed and hackers are now leasing armies of tens of thousands of "bots" with specific payloads to both the foreign governments and organized crime. As examples he cites cyber attacks against Estonia in 2007 and against Georgia in 2008 just prior to the Russian invasion, and, as a response to the accidental bombing(1) of the Chinese embassy in 1999, the attacks on the White House and US government agencies. In all cases the offending parties blamed "hacktivists" who were sympathetic to the other side. Hunker then asks what what the appropriate response might be, given the non specific source of the enemy attack.
One of the aspects of the book that I enjoyed that made the issues understandable was the author's use of historic analogy between the growth of city infrastructure and the Internet.Read more ›