The next World War 'will be fought in Silicon Valley'

Security

by Duncan MacRae| 26 February 2014

The world's apathy must end if full blown cyber war is to be avoided.

Nawaf Bitar, senior VP and GM, Security Business Unit, Juniper Networks, has called on the global IT community to take proactive measures to prevent full blown cyber warfare.

In his keynote speech at RSA Conference on Tuesday in San Francisco, he said: "We are under attack, and we are not allowed to fight back. Everyone has a breaking point. What's yours?

"Our privacy is being invaded, our intellectual property is being stoeln and th epublic trust is at an all-time low. The attack on our information is outrageous. But you know what? I don't even think we give a damn."

Bitar said the time to stop talking about outrage had arrived, with this now being the time for action.

He said: "Liking a cause is not outrage. Retweeting a link is not outrage. Posting a bad review is not outrage. These are first world outrages. We like things on Facebook, demonstrating faux concern for things we have never touched, felt or experienced. The most dangerous plague of all is apathy."

People now understand with stunning clarity how deeply their privacy is being invaded, but they do nothing about it, he added.

Addressing thousands of IT security professionals in the conference hall, he said: "You in this room have the prowess and capital to demand better but we stand by watching our privacy erode, our information stolen and our livelihoods threatened. We're complicit, standing by and watching a crime without trying to stop it can itself be a crime.

There seem to be only two things we care about - family and money. If our children's lives were at stake we would fight back. If the Snowden revelations caused our tax rate to raise to 90% there would be rioting in the streets.

"In addition to family and money I think it's high time that we added our information to the list of things that we care about. The time for apathy is over."

It is time for a new active defence, he explained - one that disrupts the economics of hacking and challenges convention, that interferes with hackers and disrupts data collection.

"It's time for us to turn the tables on the attackers. Or we can do nothing, turn the other cheek and passively wait for the next World War to begin in Silicon Valley."

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