New Frontiers

New Frontiers #

China #

  • 5 of the largest Internet platforms are Chinese
    • TikTok: first to become dominant globally without Chinese government help
  • PRC-based companies:
    • Have to deal with political content moderation requirements
    • Less experienced with safety issues as Western companies are
    • Are not experienced with Western privacy laws
    • Might store data in the PRC
    • Could decide to not follow ECPA
  • Crackdown on PRC-based tech CEOs that publicly disagree with CCP policies or that present a threat to Xi Jinping’s power

Synthetic Media #

  • Example: DNC email hack in 2016
  • Can create fake Facebook/Twitter profiles to mislead
  • Types of abuse where falsity isn’t relevant to impact:
    • Fake accounts
    • Sextortion
    • Harassment
    • Spam
    • Hate speech
    • NCII
  • These are ripe grounds for deepfakes


  • Everything is a computer! (@internetofshit on Twitter)
  • Computers are easy to hack, especially given trickle-down of attacks from state actors when they are released
  • Combination of the two is very dangerous - lots of potential for spying or other harassment

State and financial attacks on individuals #

  • Just two days ago (11/27/2021): NYT article on Iran-Israel hacking of gas IT and dating apps
  • Cryptocurrency scams and hacking, etc

Security is only the tip of the harm iceberg #

Alternatively: Stamos’s hierarchy of bad stuff that happens on the internet

  • Biggest issue: abuse (technically legal use of a platform to cause harm)
  • Infosec: only 20% of the iceberg
    • Account lifecycle/passwords (large majority)
    • Corporate patching (attacks from security updates not being applied)
    • Config errors
    • Old app vulns
    • Tip of this iceberg: new research
      • Tip of this iceberg: 0-day
      • Even smaller: side-channel attacks