The U.S. has become a digital civilization. Our industry, defense, medical care, entertainment, and communications all largely rely on information technology. In recent months, it has become increasingly evident that this digital civilization is under attack and that its protective strategies are failing.

Everywhere in the news are accounts of computer security hacks. Targets range from The New York Times, which was hit with 45 pieces of undetected malware in three months, to the Financial Times’ corrupted email system.

Even more troubling are the attacks on American intellectual property. According to the Pentagon, Chinese and Russian hackers have gained access to the very industrial base on which U.S. diplomacy and defense rests. The National Security Agency’s General Keith Alexander calls the loss of American intellectual property in cyber-attacks “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.”

All this is happening while the nation spends close to $50 billion on “computer security” as computer users fumble daily for passwords, usernames, PINs, and reset buttons. The DoD alone commands 65,000 IT professionals with a budget of $12.5 billion, most of which is spent on ineffective post-hack software security systems.

Read the full artice by George Gilder on Wired.com


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