', 'plausiblefutures.com'); ga('send', 'pageview');

Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk

The report “Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk” is part of OECD’s “Future Global Shocks” series, in which thinkers from various disciplines assess whether events in their fields might become as damaging to the world as the recent financial crisis or a global pandemic.

Single online events, such as a major DDoS attack, are unlikely to have such worldwide effects, but the combination of something like a botnet DDoS attack, a major EMP, and specific attacks on SCADA or other computer-controlled machinery, and some form of real-world “kinetic” attack might well shock the world.

Via Ars Technica. Download the report (PDF) “Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk” from OECD.

Why you already live in a cyberpunk future

Our perception of a cyberpunk future is shaped by the foresight of luminaries like William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and Bruce Sterling. Their vivid scenarios of ubiquitous computers, high tech weaponry, corporate tyranny and social disintegration have never been closer to reality than in the world of 2011. Here’s a few facts that will make you question the very fabric of our contemporary existence and learn to embrace the promise and perils of an increasingly cyberpunk reality.

A reality filled with high technology run by low life.

[Read more...]

IBM offers glimpse into the future

Air-powered batteries, 3-D cellphones that project holographs and personalized commutes are among the predictions of IBM scientists gazing into their crystal balls.

Source: Physorg.

How US strategic antimissile defense could be made to work

The authors show that the United States has the ability to defend itself from long-range nuclear armed ballistic missiles if it builds the right systems defenses based on stealthy drones that could shoot down ballistic missiles in powered flight after they have been launched from fixed known sites.This same system could defend Northern and Western Europe, and Northern Russia from large and cumbersome long-range ballistic missiles that Iran might build in the future.

Source: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (PDF).

Report: Space Security 2010

The rate at which new states gain access to space increased dramatically in the past decade. By the end of 2009 a total of 50 states had placed satellites in space … This number is expected to continue to grow as more states seek the socio-economic benefits that space provides through the efforts of the commercial sector and countries such as China, which are helping states to develop affordable small satellites. Companies such as the former Surrey Satellite Technologies Limited and China have assisted states including Algeria, Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria, Portugal, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, and South Africa in efforts to build their first civil satellites.

Excerpt from the Space Security 2010 Report (PDF). MSNBC has a summary of the report in the article “World’s military projects dominate space“.

Also see “US Space Security Policy” (PDF) from the Centre for International Policy Studies.

Stuxnet worm heralds new era of global cyberwar

That attack took place in 2008 and was acknowledged by the Pentagon only this August. It was strikingly similar to the recently disclosed cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities using the Stuxnet worm, which also appears to have used contaminated hardware in an attempt to cripple Iran’s nuclear programme.

Like the attack on Centcom’s computers, the Stuxnet worm, which Iran admits has affected 30,000 of its computers, was a sophisticated attack almost certainly orchestrated by a state. It also appears that intelligence operatives were used to deliver the worm to its goal.

Its primary target, computer security experts say, was a control system manufactured by Siemens and used widely by Iran, not least in its nuclear facilities.

Source: The Guardian. Also read the analysis of the attack by Symantec; W32.Stuxnet Dossier (PDF).

Raytheon unveils second generation exoskeleton – Sarcos XOS 2

The suit is built from a combination of structures, sensors, actuators and controllers, and it is powered by high pressure hydraulics. It enables its wearer to easily lift 200 pounds several hundred times without tiring and repeatedly punch through three inches of wood. Yet, the suit, which was developed for the U.S. Army, is also agile and graceful enough to let its wearer kick a soccer ball, punch a speed bag or climb stairs and ramps with ease.

“Getting exoskeletons deployed is inevitable in my view,” said Smith. “They are desperately needed, and I believe the military looks at them as viable solutions to a number of current issues they are trying to address. With a sustained commitment, they could be in place within five years.”

Via Engadget. Check out video at YouTube.

What Kind Of Top-Secret Assassination Tech Does $58 Billion Buy?

Every year, tens of billions of Pentagon dollars go missing. The money vanishes not because of fraud, waste or abuse, but because U.S. military planners have appropriated it to secretly develop advanced weapons and fund clandestine operations. Next year, this so-called black budget will be even larger than it was in the Cold War days of1987, when the leading black-budget watchdog, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), began gathering reliable estimates. The current total is staggering: $58 billion—enough to pay for two complete Manhattan Projects.

Source: Popular Science.

(c) Copyright Plausible Futures Newsletter 2013