Really good Ross Anderson interview:
It’s as if you had a forest where all the animals could see only in black and white, and suddenly, along comes a mutation in one of the predators allowing it to see in color. All of a sudden it gets to eat all the other animals, at least those who can’t see in color, and the other animals have got no idea what’s going on. [Good book] They have no idea why their camouflage doesn’t work anymore. They have no idea where the new threat is coming from. That’s the kind of change that happens once people get access to really powerful online services.
So long as it was the case that everybody who could be bothered to learn had access to AltaVista, or Google, or Facebook, or whatever, then that was okay. The problem we’re facing now is that more and more of the really capable systems are no longer open to all. They’re open to the government, they’re open to big business, and they’re open to powerful advertising networks.
This is what happened with the Viktor Bout project. Although they’d developed a lot of the same mechanisms we’d learned to recognise from spammers on the Internet through convergent evolution, that didn’t mean they understood it or even really perceived it as a threat. Now we’re in the same position.