Wanna Cyber?

Two things are clear after cybermonday's cyberhoohah cyberregarding cybersecurity: First: no-one in government has yet Googled the phrase "wanna cyber?" else they'd know that to an adolescent demographic "cyber" when used as a noun or verb means...

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Two things are clear after cybermonday's cyberhoohah cyberregarding cybersecurity:

First: no-one in government has yet Googled the phrase "wanna cyber?" else they'd know that to an adolescent demographic "cyber" when used as a noun or verb means "cybersex" or "to have cybersex". Should this concept be unfamiliar think "sexting via instant messenger".

With this knowledge quotations like:

"Fundamentally, getting cyber right enables the UK's continuing economic prosperity.

...add a garnish of schoolboy smut to GCHQ pronouncements, providing some welcome relief from the droning.

Second: it's now pretty clear that the cyberministers on the cyberhook for cybersecurity have realised they don't know what the cybermoney will achieve - but they've also worked out that spending money on cyberstuff makes them very vulnerable on other defence criticisms. It's a lose-lose situation - wherever the money is spent it could be better spent somewhere else to match a different threat profile..

The Home Secretary declined any significance to the order in which the national security strategy document cited threats: "terrorism", "cyberattack" and "natural disaster", with "conflict" running an apparently distant fourth; pressed to suggest that if no order is applicable  then they might all be "equal" threats, she again demurred.

But things got really weird when John Humphrys pushed the minister regarding why cybersecurity was on-par with terrorism:

May: You just have to look at some of the figures, in fact over 50%, just about 51% of the malicious software threats that have been ever identified, were identified in 2009

This is a curious statement, astonishingly phrased but apparently very important; from one perspective it could be saying that in 2009 there were more instances of system-cracking than in the whole of the history of mankind - I doubt that is correct, but I believe some people will interpret it that way.

A more plausible translation might be: of all security risks and exploits which have ever been identified, some 51% of them still existed and were exploited in 2009. If so, this should be no surprise to anyone since security bugs never go away - ask the Greeks about Trojan Horses sometime.

Or perhaps government statistics in 2009 were suddenly bolstered by (for example) sudden inclusion of smartphone vulnerabilities or similar; there's nothing better than changing your ruler when you suddenly need different statistics.

So if, dear reader, you are able to shine a light upon what the Home Secretary was trying to say, and from where she sourced her ambiguous and suspiciously precise statistic, I would be grateful to know so that I may address it. 

Until that time you'll find me beating myself over the head with an old router, trying to expunge the fear that we're doomed to have the UK Terror Threat Level soon bound to the cycles of Patch Tuesday.