It seems like a really forgot to put up the posts after I performed the requirements in the outline for the class.  Yikes, I really should have kept better track of putting things up on time.  I have a more general post I’m preparing unrelated to penpal stuff.

As you may have seen from my previous post, my third cup of tea is based on my own expertise in computer software.  My penpal George responded to my post with the following:

1] Russia , in my opinion there is no such thing as Russian Ultra-nationalists. All Russian people that i have personally met here in Athens are equally “Ultra-nationalists” . They can come from different social backgrounds but share the same values of their country should be or behave. Being Russian most of the times means being suspicious , patient and  practical. These qualities are useful when it comes to my sake point

2] “computer system security”
When country A decides to mess up country B cyber-infrastructure it is an apllication of “soft” power as ww2 covert operations used to destroy real infrastructure [ports,bridges]. So it is not terrorism , it is warfare. Terrorism hold no accountability while warfare has its actors. Russia again and again has managed to harm her former USSR allies by using “computer system security” as a tool to commit acts of espionage and warfare but not terrorism

My point is that I agree with you as than Russia should not act as a cyber-bully of other nations , I can understand why the do it. The Russians are trying to protect their own national security , their “local abroad” .  George Friedman says on power ” So frequently, Rome and Britain threatened the interests of foreign powers simply by being there. Inevitably, both Rome and Britain became the targets of Hannibals and Napoleons, and they were both drawn into the world regardless of their original desires. In short, enough power to be secure is enough power to threaten others. Therefore, that perfect moment of national security always turns offensive, as the power to protect the homeland threatens the security of other countries. “

What I found interesting is when given an instance of non-state actors acting on behalf of a state is the response that people are expected to do so.  Personally, I feel no compunction to defend the United States our government does mess up; the idea of not criticizing even in the face of obvious wrong-doing is unknown.  It is well known however, that nationalism is stronger in emerging nations such as Brazil, China, and Thailand among many, many others.  In fact, his response to this example was stronger than trying to explain why software security is an upcoming battleground for states, state based terrorism, and group based terrorism.  I suspect this is mostly due to the failure to understand why computer security is important and how it can be used to bring down modern luxuries.  It is an especially difficult to get people interested in cybersecurity for a number of reasons, but I’ll state the major ones:

1. Computer software security is highly complex, technical subject requiring substantial expertise even to those acquainted especially those in modern software.  Hacking is extremely low level, manipulating some of the most basic aspects of computer systems.

2. It is vague.  This is not like bombs where the results are immediately obvious – well, until the technology suddenly stops working.

3. Most people do not actually care about technology despite their increasingly common use.  The vast majority see a computer as an appliance rather than a tool or weapon and this creates complacency.  No expects their washing machine to start attacking whitehouse.gov.  Computers are THE most powerful machines ever developed, it is in face been proven mathematically that one cannot build a machine with a range of uses larger than that of a computer.