Richard Clarke, Maine, Coordinator discussed on Chip Franklin


In the door hello hello hello hello I am we talk about you know it's great to have people come in studio I look forward to talking to this man for a long time Richard Clarke is with us here at all he has a new book out called the fifth to Maine and we will get to that but he is a he is a guy who was national coordinator for security infrastructure protection and counterterrorism for the US from ninety eight to two thousand three that's a mouthful and and Richard the but obviously what you're writing about today I'm and I've read your book and I've also Sanger's book as well kind of back and forth it scared the hell out of me the B. Frank and and how how much of what you've written here again that the fifth man is what the Pentagon calls cyberterrorism right server space cyberspace yeah how much of of of what has changed since you've written this isn't that kind of are you are you more fright now then when you put this together or will we finish the book earlier this year so it's pretty up to date okay things are always happening in cyberspace and you know in the last month the United States has admitted they did a cyber attack on the ranch so you do you can never you always in writing a book you always want to keep writing it in again because you want to keep it up to date there's always something happening did it in a Egnatius right about that David this is about we sold them so we we had we work through different animators it was fictional but I think it was true about and we we wanted to make their centrifuge not balanced perfectly could write something along those lines well that is true and there's a there's a very good movie slash documentary about our attack on their centrifuges that Alec given the did call zero yeah right yeah and you know you think how could it be an interesting movie length show on something like a hack well he makes it a really good a really good movie need I think you can get now and that's likes zero day yeah I tell people that that have my persuasion that out once trumps calmer still gonna have to deal with Russia and China of China for intellectual property Russia possibly for that you know hacking our social part of our brains how do we how do we defend against ourselves it's difficult NO one problem is knowing who did what when there's a will there's a hack sometimes the people who did the hack try to make it look like somebody else did and one of the ways this is happening though is apparently some of the United States is best attack tools got stolen and so Russia and China are using U. S. attack tools and then say all that attack wasn't Russia and it was American I think the United States probably does the same thing but you think about it how could we be so bad the place that we allow our weapons to be stolen what if they had stolen a nuclear missile what if they had stolen aircraft carrier you know people would be drummed out of the military for that they be sent to prison for that and yet they stole our weapons are cyber weapons and very little happens as a result how much does how much do you think this administration understands the threat that Russia really posed and if you don't think that they fully understand or accept it how long will the repercussions last well I think I think everybody knows with the Russians then the twenty sixteen election now we we what is the administration doing anything about it they can prevent it from being even worse for the next election so the answer is generally no but I don't want to just give you a flat no because there are good people in the federal government career people I was a career a federal officer and therefore I have a soft spot in my heart for people who do that you cross two entirely different ideologies from a president Clinton and President Bush thought you know I worked in the Reagan demonstrated to so there are good people and homeland security the FBI NSA we're trying to stop the Russians from doing it again but the White House and the Republican leadership in the Senate is blocking money to go to the states and counties to defend the election machinery in other four thousand counties in the United States they run the elections that's where elections occur at the county level the county commissioners and things like that they do not have the equipment to even know when they're being attacked and they can afford it and so this bill is passed the house is got bipartisan support including Marco Rubio for example who thinks this is a necessary in the Senate the Republican leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell is stopping it the end is stopping a does the White House wants into the other really ask yourself what plausible reason other than the obvious is there for the Republicans to oppose defending our election machinery hello I think it's obvious I know I I will like to question people's motives generally but this is pretty obvious I think there are Republicans including Mitch McConnell including the White House who think it yeah it's okay if the Russians do it again they like us they supported us they helped us get across the goal line last time as an Obama went to McConnell in October of twenty sixteen and told them what was going on and he said if you say that I'll say you're trying to throw the election on Taylor Clinton let me ask you I punch cards Virginia Tech in nineteen seventy seven right and in today they have a thing called a quantum the idea of a quantum computer how much of that do you understand I mean what because when I read it I get a headache and I can't imagine that the explaining that in the house intelligence committee to people so quantum computing is very important it's a right around the corner and because of that I put a chapter in my book about quantum computing and I had to write it myself I had to understand it and then I had to having understood it explain it in simple English for lip readers who don't have a degree in in computers that was the hardest chapter of the book it is also the most phone because I got to go around the country to quantum computer labs including like Crossley the bay here in Berkeley and and say explain that to me again how does that work I don't do that here it's a little it's a little complex since it's an essential it's like saying that something can be it in two different places at the same time well so yeah and and that's literally true but the the way I begin the explanation is we're talking about the sub atomic level and the matter that exists of the subatomic level obeys a different set of rules than those physics that we all right understand up here and down there at the subatomic level yeah matter can be in two different places I've never heard a note in there and it doesn't make any sense to our human brains but we can harness those crazy things that go on to the subatomic level to make a specialized computer run why would we want to do that because it can solve problems the regular computers cannot solve there's an exponential quality that means all of a sudden something that we take a regular computer days months years infinity to do can be done in a matter of seconds and that would include cryptology which is obviously the thing we worry about the most there to be no more secrets so that's a that's a debatable issue are you know I've I found a lot of people in writing the book said quantum computing will mean the end of encryption because any encryption algorithm could be broken like all the other people say no no no don't don't don't assume that in fact the the weirdos who are the are cryptologists I'd love our cryptologist but they are really interesting let's say people of their brilliant they are brilliant and unique and different they have been working on this for awhile now they know quantum computing is coming and they are out in front of it writing quantum resistant code no I didn't say it's like bullet resistant vests are not bullet proof right I mean you're not gonna get shot right we're talking to Richard Clark about his book the fifth man and also he's at the Commonwealth club is a tonight tonight okay what time do miss it seven of ten o'clock it's on the thing and friends when I wrote it down for you just read I semicon come with club tonight it's gonna be a fastening and they'll be Q. and a afterwards right thing and and hopefully no weird as in the craft we talked about that but I know it's funny I love the people are writing anti krypton our writing trying to send I can write encryption for something that doesn't exist yet they can't break it right it's all and only bring all this up because we know right now we suspect that the Russians have invaded our infrastructure all either whether it's our nuclear facilities or electric infrastructure and I've heard people say they believe they could shut down New York City alright so this this isn't a matter of conjecture because we have the director of national intelligence Dan coats who went before the Congress in his annual threat briefing in the Hague March and said the Russians are in the control system of our power grid the Chinese are in the control system or a natural gas pipeline great hello and then it got less attention but three months later on in the official leak from the White House I know the specially for the White House when I see one I used to do them the White House leaked yeah but we're in the control system of the Russian power grid to so this is this is cyber war today it's real the Russians have turned out turned off the electric power system in Ukraine twice well it's not theoretical they've done it they're in our power grid control somewhere we don't know everywhere and we're button we may be in there that doesn't mean that tomorrow they're going to doc out power out or the we're gonna lock there's up but it does mean in the period of escalating tension in a crisis there's gonna be crisis instability and there's going to be a real incentive on the part of one of the other of us to go first and you really don't want situations where there is in a crisis an incentive to to escalate well I mean we've come a long way from hiding under our desks in nineteen sixty three right now and and now we look at technology that most Americans I mean I get it it's it's it's if you don't have an applied math and computer science background it's hard to go down that rabbit hole with people so they involves a certain level of trust and you know I'm a member crystals the cuckoo's egg or that book right off yeah is about unix systems that people are put in backdoors these programmers and United and today it is it's kind of like it's not similar an ad in a direct way but you have to trust people yeah and and I guess I've who do we trust or whom do we trust well I think we have to design networks so that you don't have to trust people and so that people can make mistakes this is phenomenon call spearfishing where somebody send you an email it looks really like your friend suggested that that's what brought him down and it looks like your friend said it and it's like please read the attached document you click on the document there's a document their leisure clicking on it you're dropping a program into your computer you never see it happening and it takes over your computer spearfishing any one of us can be make that mistake at any moment on the computer even somebody like me who's trained all the time in this one second I make a mistake and click on an email click on the attachment and both my computers so we have to architect our networks and our computer systems so that their fault tolerant so that I can make that mistake you can make that mistake and it won't work they won't put a back door it and that technology exists the good news story in this book and the thing that surprised rob Kentucky Michael author Anna in writing the book is that there are lots of American companies that has figured out how to architect their networks with defensive technology that exists today existing technology so it's really almost impossible to hack them how do you do a review on that yeah I heard you've been interviewed you were talking about this and you said that you have more confidence in American there's a lot of American companies today have got the message in their way ahead of our government and and protect themselves yeah absolutely and you know they're big banks most of the Minoan JP Morgan bank of America city bank they're spending their spending literally around eight billion dollars a year each every year to defend their networks they're hiring the best people in computer science there they have thousands of people on staff as well as contractors defending their networks sounds like a lot of money for the gnome JP Morgan to spend the billion dollars a year less you look at the books of JP Morgan around billion dollars is not a lot of money and it is the cost of doing business Reggie of sorry go I don't I just have a two o'clock at the Commonwealth club tonight is a new book out called the fifth to Maine and it's it's about the I guess for lack of a better word.

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