Truth About Computer Security Hysteria
Southern Road Trip (interview #7)Rob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Sunday, 28 March 2004 DAVE ATTELL HOSTS "Insomniac," one of the best travel shows on TV today. It airs on the Comedy Central cable network. It's definitely not your ordinary travel show. The comedian recently shot a special episode ... where he filled a car with gas and went on a quick "one-tank tour" of the south.
These audio interviews will record what "cyber-terrorism" means to Joe SixPack. We'll hear from people at gun stores, truck stops, adult novelty shops, waffle houses, you name it!By sheer coincidence, I'll sleep in a string of southern motels for the next few months. So I decided to swipe Atell's comedy idea. Vmyths will run a special audio series called "Southern Road Trip." I'll drop in on various establishments and do unscripted computer security interviews. But there's a catch. I'll gladly interview anyone but the experts. It's time to learn what computer security and "cyber-terrorism" mean to the average Joe SixPack. And we'll have real fun with these audio interviews. We'll hear from people at gun stores, truck stops, adult novelty shops (!), waffle houses, you name it...
WE CONTINUE WITH an interview at Watkins Pawn & Loan in Pulaski, Tennessee. Tommy Watkins owns the store and he has a fantastic low-key sense of humor. He also has a lot of southern common sense, as you'll hear in this excerpt from our interview:
A pawn shop owner in Tennessee correctly inferred cyber-terrorism "has got [something] to do with space."
Yes, cyber-terrorism does have something to do with space! To hear some experts say it, cyber-terrorists may soon force satellites out of orbit and crash them into the White House. If you listen at the 07:00 mark, you'll hear Tommy express a strong faith in our cyber-security. "I tend to be more an optimist than a pessimist," he explained, "and so I just feel that we're better prepared than the pessimists would indicate to us." He literally has the same kind of faith that I have! Tommy's profession of faith caused me to wonder why screaming experts in Washington don't express the same faith in our nation's capabilities. Only later did I realize I asked myself the wrong question — we need to ask the screaming experts themselves why they don't express Tommy's level of faith. And we need to force the screaming experts to answer the question. To hear them say it, a hundred jackbooted hackers in North Korea can terminate the very fabric of American society with a red-white-and-blue screen of death. Southern common sense, folks. You won't find it in our nation's capitol, but you will find it in a Tennessee pawn shop. This impromptu interview is nine minutes long. Certainly you can spare 1/160th of a day to listen to it! I also hope you'll drop by Watkins Pawn & Loan when you need the services of a pawn shop or a small loan. Say hello to Tommy and tell him Vmyths sent you. Enjoy.
[continued in commentary #11