When you hear the word cyber-attack, what comes to mind? Someone hacking into your email, or stealing your Facebook password?
As it turns out, our most critical infrastructure can be hacked. Our banks, water treatment facilities, and nuclear power plants can be deactivated and even controlled simply by finding bugs in the software used to operate them. Suddenly, cyber-attack takes on a different meaning.
This week on Your Undivided Attention, we're talking with cyber-security expert Nicole Perlroth. Nicole spent a decade as the lead cyber-security reporter at The New York Times, and is now a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Advisory Committee. She recently published “This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends” — an in-depth exploration of the global cyber arms race.
CORRECTIONS: In the episode, Nicole says that "the United States could have only afforded 2 to 3 more days of Colonial Pipeline being down before it ground the country — our economy — to a halt." The correct number is actually 3 to 5 days. She also refers to a 2015 study researching why some countries have significantly fewer successful cyber-attacks relative to cyber-attack attempts. That study was actually published in 2016.
Nicole Perlroth spent a decade as the lead cybersecurity, digital espionage and sabotage reporter for The New York Times. Her investigations ranged from Russian hacks of nuclear plants to North Korea's cyberattack against Sony Pictures. She’s the author of the New York Times bestselling book “This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends,” about the global cyber arms race, which won the 2021 McKinsey and Financial Times’ Business Book of the Year Award and has been translated into nine languages. Today, Nicole is a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, and a guest lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Nicole Perlroth’s 2021 book investigating the global cyber-weapons arms race
Nicole’s articles while the lead cyber-security reporter at the New York Times
Brief of a 2015 study by the Center for Digital International Government, Virginia Tech, and the University of Maryland that researched why some countries have significantly fewer successful cyber-attacks relative to cyber-attack attempts