Is Cyber the Modern Leviathan?

John Manferdelli
Intel Science and Technology Center for Secure Computing, UC, Berkeley

Thomas Hobbes wrote a famously pessimistic description of the fate of man against a backdrop of relentless conflict, describing the resulting human condition as one where "every man is Enemy to every man; wherein men live without other security ... In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain [and people live in] continuall feare (his spelling, not mine), and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short." Given a little indulgence, this brings to mid the state of computer security where, as the Register said recently, "A picture can own your machine." Yet there are (and have been) many opportunities to make our digital lives longer, richer, more predictably safe and considerably less brutish. I'll discuss the battlefields and some ways we could establish expanding safe zones as well as reduce our uncertainty about attacks and their consequences.

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