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Playlist "May Contain Hackers 2022"

First Privacy, Now Safety: An Anthology of Tales from the Front Lines of Cyber Physical Security

Daniel Kapellmann Zafra

As of today, most discussions on cyber security focus on privacy and the implications of incidents involving data. However, those of us in cyber physical security often see things differently as we study actors attempting to use computers to impact the physical world (e.g. critical infrastructure and industrial controls). Geopolitical conflicts and accessible offensive security tools make defending against these threats increasingly complex. The anthology I bring for you illustrates the evolution of cyber physical threats through several stories with topics that span from non-fiction espionage and crime thrillers to politically-motivated intrusions and master tinkerers’ ill-fated creations. By focusing on the different players involved and their motivations, I intend not to hype up the scenario, but instead to accurately describe what we observe daily in the cyber physical threat intelligence community.

“First Privacy, Now Safety: An Anthology of Tales from the Front Lines of Cyber Physical Security” will consist of a series of real stories to illustrate the evolution of cyber physical threats related to topics that span from non-fiction espionage and crime thrillers to politically-motivated intrusions and master tinkerers’ ill-fated creations. The selection of topics results from my personal experience as a member of the cyber threat intelligence community in Washington, D.C. with a very pacifist perspective of life. Some example stories include:

• The Unwilling Pawn – How our infrastructure gets swept up in geopolitical conflicts
• Everybody Be Cool, This is a Robbery! – How criminals can make more money by getting physical.
• What if I Click Here? – Errant tales from hackers learning about cyber physical systems. (And sometimes erring in the process).

All of the stories I will talk about can be verified by the audience in open sources and specialized publications, although they may not appear in any popular books or videos until a couple years from now.