I will be attending an InfoSec webinar. One attendee is quite intriguing. I am excited. It is called Coffee with CISOs Special Edition: Blackhat AMA. I have been tangentially involved in hacking for a long time. I even had a Cap'n Crunch whistle at one time. It is lost now among boxes of old equipment so expensive at the time it is hard to throw away. Someday I will find it so I can hit that 2600 hertz note again.
I became even more excited when I saw the guest list. There is a former Anonymous hacker attending. At different times, keeping my fingers in the hacker universe has allowed me to know about "hooks and holes" which make me wary of certain technologies. I recall listening in 2009 to a Black Hatter talk about Flash storage in the context of the beginnings of the shared fingerprint cookie tracking we now all abhor.
What might I learn from someone like this->
"Hector Monsegur, security researcher, and former blackhat. Better known by his online alias “Sabu”, Hector Monsegur is the most controversial hacker of this generation – both the brash voice behind the Anonymous/LulzSec hacker collectives as well as a Federal informant."
Imagine my joy when I was supplied a link where I could submit questions ahead of time. Computers, money, and national security are intertwined now. They are the future and I have questions. I believe strongly if we get answers to the following questions from a source with gravitas, then we will understand how to navigate the future.
Unfortunately, after I submitted a few I realized there was a strong likelihood they would not be answered. These are very controversial topics which I touch upon. These are questions sans partisanship that deserve answers. I admit these could be considered "loaded" questions. However, if one wants the answers to have a REAL payload, one must LOAD the questions...IMO
Here are my five most important questions for someone who MIGHT actually know the answers. By putting them out here on Hacker Noon, I hope to make the questions more difficult to ignore. If we get ONE of these answered credibly, it will be helpful.
I attended and the answers I "extracted" are in this font below:
#1 Did Anonymous really save the election for Obama in 2012?
Can there be a more important question in this day and age? This is not some conspiracy theory. Karl Rove definitely acted surprised that evening in 2012. AND Anonymous made the claim they had swung the election for Obama! His answers to this question could be very revealing about the level of corruption in our government REGARDLESS of party affiliation.
This went unanswered.
#2 Why was Hillary Clinton's email server not celebrated more among InfoSec circles, ESPECIALLY after the Wikileaks affair?
This has always baffled me. As the porous nature of the US government security has become more and more evident, I would have expected some retroactive review of this person's foresight. Though it may have been illegal, Clinton's email server is definitely the right thing to do when trying to control one's own security. All computer security professionals know this to be true.
This went unanswered...directly, but both moderator and hacker agreed "direct asset management" was the only way to be sure.
#3 Is quantum computing a threat to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
This could interest the readers here more than perhaps the aforementioned political questions. Hacker Noon readers are notorious crypto enthusiasts. With quantum computing growing by leaps and bounds, one must wonder about Bitcoin security. The encryption being used is vulnerable to a quantum computer. There are some estimates that put this threat in the year 2022. This is years before we even hit the Bitcoin cap. There may be options but 2022 looms!
In Hector's opinion, the cryptocurrency in its current state is clearly vulnerable
#4 Is the Chinese quantum communications lead also an indication of qubit leadership?
I find this very, very distressing. It surely seems the Chinese are currently operating an UNHACKABLE communications network. This is real and been evolving for years now. Does the United States even have a quantum communications satellite, let alone a network? We cannot know. It is a national security secret. However, if we are falling behind it may be time for a different tactic, so here is question #5.
Hector hinted the United States among others had competing systems, but his answer confirmed 'we' are not allowed to know.
#5 Do we need an open-source revolution in our government to prevent the dangerous groupthink which allowed military bases to be revealed by a Strava data dump and the more recent Solar Winds hack?
Sometimes there can be TOO MUCH secrecy. It facilitates corruption. We may need to crowdsource our cybersecurity. A simple dump of Strava data revealed American military bases all throughout the world. Some were supposed to be secret, but somehow no one thought operating a cell phone would be a security breach. Jeez! This stupid data dump occurred years ago and yet we appear to have fixed very little. The Solar Winds hack was very revealing.
Hector had a clear point of view on this. He felt the United States government relied on contractors far too much. He felt hiring Americans with REAL world experience whether they had degrees or not was the REAL world answer.
There are real indications our government and military have built a digital Maginot Line. The Chinese are drafting international standards on global standards on a quantum communications protocol. We need to get our act together, QUICK! By putting these questions on Hacker Noon, I hope to get some of this stuff surfaced into the greater zeitgeist.
Tell us, Sabu. Can you answer any ONE of these questions with real and useful information? If not, then how about a "dog whistle" or two... something in the 2600 hertz range perhaps?
I want to thank rThreat, and Don Cox for surfacing my questions in the webinar. I want to thank Hector Monsegur for the dog whistles. Also, I especially found his singling out of civilians as being a big part of the solution and advocating for the "Main Street" American citizen refreshing.
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