Another day, another mega-hack. Sears, JP Morgan, the US Post office, etc. The only organizations that haven’t been hacked are the ones that don’t realize it has happened to them anyway.
It’s clear that a new type of digital ecosystem is emerging. In this ecosystem, cyber spies are continuously monitoring what you are doing. Meanwhile the organizations that are being hacked are, in their turn, monitoring the hackers to see what they are going to do next. In some cases they are preventing them from implementing the hack before they can actually do it.
Years ago, way way before the internet, I read a sci-fi novel about telepathy. In the story, everyone had this ability. So everyone constantly was reading other peoples’ thoughts’ When these other people decided to do something the telepathic monitor didn’t approve of, the monitor would stop the intended action telepathically before it could happen.
Of course, if you wanted to do something, then you had to telepathically monitor the people who were going to stop you before you could do it. So of course nothing ever happened because everything was being stopped before it actually started.
Washington DC anyone?
That might sound absurd. But recently scientists have found that bats can jam the signals of other bats to ward off competition for the food they are both jointly pursuing. It’s the batian equivalent of Navy engineers who jam the sonar of enemy ships or US warplanes that jam the signals of the radar units that are going to shoot them down.
Right now hacking and its prevention is event driven and episodic. If you are the hacker, you plan, prepare and execute. If you are the hackee you identify the hacker (if you can), man the ramparts and pour the boiling water over them (on rare occasions anyway). It’s all very mechanical. Just so we can have a big name for it, we can call it the synchronous hacking model.
But what’s coming is an asynchronous model where everyone is hacking and countering simultaneously. The potential hackee is preventing the hacker before he actually does it and the hacker is doing it before it’s prevented. That ups the ante quite a lot.
With the advent of MRI and brain implants, direct brain interfaces have already been implemented to the internet of things. It’s certain that at some stage brain implants will be used for hacking, kind of like a Google Glass for spying.
It can’t be long before hacker and hackee will have direct brain communications to their hacking and anti-hacking tools so that they can work in real-time, and better. Sort of like the ultra-high speed trading we already have in the financial markets.
Nor does it stop there. Once you have quantum computers – 3 years? – then the speed will go up geometrically. But the quantum model of computing is perfectly suited to the asynchronous model of hacking. In this quantum hacking model I can hack you even if you already perfected and implemented defenses.
Quantum computing gives us the power to take direct brain approaches a giant step forward. How long before the brains actually get connected, like in the sci-fi story I mentioned above?
Actually it’s quite likely that the spooks of all the top cyber-spying nations are already working on all of this now, or some variants thereof. I guess that in some circles this post might even be regarded as a little quaint, what they were thinking of 10 years ago, given some of the other goodies they are likely working on.
Elon Musk has recently posted on a related issue. He’s worried that artificial intelligence will escape into supercomputers and be used for dangerous or nefarious purposes. He was close to DeepMind, the AI company recently purchased by Google so he is well aware of what’s going on at the bleeding edge in this area. No doubt DeepMind is onto the telepathy issue too, is some shape or form, even if not parsed the way set out here.
Dolphin-Hackers Anonymous anyone?