Over the last decade cybersecurity has morphed from the fringes of popular culture into the mainstream. Nowadays, the idea of hackers has completely migrated from the aged trope of a dude in a hoodie living in his parents basement, into the diverse group of hackers (and realistic hacks) portrayed on a show like Mr. Robot. The NSA, once nicknamed the “No-Such-Agency” because nobody knew what it was, has a Twitter account that tweets about the supposedly amazing work-life balance it offers its spies.
When it comes to geopolitics, the so-called ‘cyber’ and the realm of the internet has become a serious battlefield and a space where enemy states have traded disinformation campaigns and can have things like a power plant knocked out by a string of code. Since 2011, New York Times journalist Nicole Perlroth has been reporting on the secret world of cybersecurity and the arsenals of malware that nation states are stockpiling.
This week she’s on CYBER to talk about her recently released book, This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends. In it, Perlroth writes about her experiences on the beat and how the once mighty U.S. government monopolized the cyber arms race, but has since seen emergent competition from around the world.