Inoculating the World Against Malware

The WannaCry ransomware worm spread across the planet is a matter of hours, infecting over 200,000 computers in just a matter of hours – this included hospitals in the UK, phone service in Spain, and even a Russian ministry. The malware was stopped dead by one security researcher who basically got lucky. In today’s show, I will explain what WannaCry is and how to ensure that you are protected again this nasty bug and others just like it that will surely be coming. My guest today is security research Nick Weaver who will help us understand what the real threats are for most people – it’s not just hackers! He explains why we’re vulnerable and gives us a lot of great and timely tips on how to protect your computers and mobile devices (spoiler alert: you need to ditch Android and go with Apple).

Nicholas Weaver received a B.A. in Astrophysics and Computer Science in 1995, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2003 from the University of California at Berkeley. Although his dissertation was on novel FPGA architectures, he also was highly interested in Computer Security, including postulating the possibility of very fast computer worms in 2001. In 2003, he joined the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), first as a postdoc and then as a staff researcher. His primary research focus is on network security, notably worms, botnets, and other internet-scale attacks, and network measurement. Other areas have included both hardware acceleration and software parallelization of network intrusion detection, defenses for DNS resolvers, and tools for detecting ISP-introduced manipulations of a user’s network connection.

For Further Insight:
Website: http://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~nweaver
Follow on Twitter: @ncweaver

Further Reading:
Article on WannaCry by our guest: https://lawfareblog.com/crying-about-wannacry-notable-features-newest-ransomeware-attack
Microsoft help on WannaCry malware: Β Β https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/msrc/2017/05/12/customer-guidance-for-wannacrypt-attacks/
John Oliver on Net Neutrality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92vuuZt7wak
Tell the FCC how you feel about Net Neutrality! http://gofccyourself.com/

Carey Parker began programming computers in middle school when personal computers were just starting to become popular. For years, these twin interests percolated until he attended Purdue University and he learned you could get paid to do this stuff – it was called Electrical Engineering! After obtaining a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in EE, Carey wrote software for multiple companies, large and small. In recent years, particularly after the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013, he became deeply concerned about computer security and privacy. In 2014, he combined his passion for computers, cybersecurity and fantasy novels with the long-time desire to write the book: Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons.