Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Zero-sum game

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?". These are perhaps the most legendary wordsfrom 'Joshua ', the fictional US DoD computer in the 80s film 'WarGames', starring Matthew Broderick in the role of a 'hacker'.


The 17 year old student David Lightman, the character in the film turning the world on the verge of an unprecedented nuclear conflict is one of the protagonists of the first movies dedicated to the world of computing and cybersecurity. Other epic characters may be Kevin Flynn (Tron) and Richard Pryor (Superman 3). The TechCrunch team has assembled with them all a nice video tribute to those who made ​​us dream of a future made ​​of bytes and programming codes.


Besides the video, however witty and endearing as it is, Joshua's quote is interesting for another reason. The scenario proposed in WarGames is none other than probability combinations to determine that every solution is zero. That is: mathematical language. And that is precisely the lack of knowledge that accuses the Nobel Math equivalent (the Medalla Fields), Efim Zelmanov, in an interview published by Spanish newspaper ABC: "Hackers know best math" than security experts, he says, and that allows them to be way ahead from their pursuers.

We jumped from the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States as seen on WarGames, to cyber cold war ("cold" is a saying), currently facing China and the United States. A Chinese cybercriminal group have been able to access sensitive information on missile shield developed by the U.S. for Israel, as has been told by the prestigious specialized blog Krebs on Security. Three contractors would be affected, and only one of them has reacted and has done downplaying the issue: "These are news from the past".

Whether or not Zelmanov's words on mathematical knowledge are true, there are so many chances to intrusion that it is even strange not to know more cases like this next: a security hole in a specialized search engine, Elasticsearch, based on Linux and hosted and giving service to Amazon. This is also in the news because there is who already have taken advantage for programming robots ready to DDoS attacks. In return, Kaspersky has made check (and nearly kills) another serious incident discovered a few months ago, the ransomware Android Koler. The security company has revealed the "complex structure" of this malware. We share the link to the full report in PDF.

Kaspersky is part of the cybersecurity industry, who was also born in those 80s years where computer could be a "game" only in the movies. An industry that today consists of a range of products and brands to free choice of everyone, but now checked due to researcher Joxean Koret, who has released some slides uncovering security holes in the majority of this range of solutions.

All zero-sum games ​​end with no winners or losers, because everybody lose. Add your voice to our one, scoring and sharing these posts, to be getting further away from the zero-sum. On the sidebar you have the links and at the foot of each post some sharing options.

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