System Vulnerability

We assume that the systems that undergird our daily life, like airport security, are strong — at least until they are tested. As most of you by now know, a Sea-Tac employee walked up to a Horizon Airlines plane, started it up, and ran it down a runway into the air completely unimpeded. This happened while TSA screening inside the airport is driving most of us insane.

More recently, an 11 year old at a hacking convention took all of 10 minutes to break into a facsimile of a Florida election site and change the results.

I’m not sure, as individuals, what we do about all of this. Many of us lead much of our lives online: financial transactions, electronic medical records, social interactions. It’s hard to face the reality of how vulnerable we really are to someone or some group with bad intent, or even to some smart-ass 11 year old having fun.

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