Computers, and computing, are broken

Is the information age unleashing the Panopticon or unlocking the Doors of Perception?
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Gutenberg
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:27 pm

Computers, and computing, are broken

Post by Gutenberg » Mon May 26, 2014 8:06 pm

Today I found this provocative and passionate blog post about computer security where journalist Quinn Norton argues that computer technology is "sick and broken", from the point of view of security and privacy. It's a long read, but Quinn raises several important questions which everyone interested in information technology should consider.

Everything Is Broken

"Once upon a time, a friend of mine accidentally took over thousands of computers. He had found a vulnerability in a piece of software and started playing with it. In the process, he figured out how to get total administration access over a network. He put it in a script, and ran it to see what would happen, then went to bed for about four hours. Next morning on the way to work he checked on it, and discovered he was now lord and master of about 50,000 computers. After nearly vomiting in fear he killed the whole thing and deleted all the files associated with it. In the end he said he threw the hard drive into a bonfire. I can’t tell you who he is because he doesn’t want to go to Federal prison, which is what could have happened if he’d told anyone that could do anything about the bug he’d found. Did that bug get fixed? Probably eventually, but not by my friend. This story isn’t extraordinary at all. Spend much time in the hacker and security scene, you’ll hear stories like this and worse.

It’s hard to explain to regular people how much technology barely works, how much the infrastructure of our lives is held together by the IT equivalent of baling wire.

Computers, and computing, are broken."
read the rest of the article here: https://medium.com/message/81e5f33a24e1

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