Monday, November 22, 2010

Architecture for The Perfect Virus: Introduction

A few days ago, I vacillated on whether or not I should reveal Jeff Walker's principles of the perfect application as they might apply to the perfect virus. After all, Jeff's paper is in the hands of fewer than a dozen people. Upon serious reflection, I have concluded that the principles involved do not equate to an execution roadmap. We're talking millions of lines of code and a significant investment. Furthermore, the only people who could do this (because they have done it before, for Jeff) would be impossible for anyone but the United States government to re-assemble. Which won't happen because according to Richard Clark in his book Cyber War, we lack the political will to embark on this mission. Well, if I publish the road map that would allow a foreign government to construct The Ultimate Virus, just maybe it will be the catalyst to kick a few U.S. politicians into high gear. In my opinion, we need such a "Manhattan Project" to save life as we know it.

So starting tomorrow, I will be sharing the architecture of The Ultimate Virus, at least as I can extrapolate it from Jeff Walker's principles of the perfect application. "What does the ultimate virus look like?" you ask. Back on November 3rd, I posted a Cyber privateer road map: military science fiction. I left out one author: Piers Anthony. His book Macroscope was the second most important influence in the formulation of my own view of technology (the first-most important one being Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science). [As a side note, the Jodie Foster movie Contact lifted this alien communication idea from Mr. Anthony.] Piers Anthony described an intergalactic virus that took over the Macroscope, a device that emerged only when a civilization had reached the point that they could be brought into a space-faring culture. Through the Macroscope, the alien community communicated the science necessary to take the next giant steps into space. Just like the Internet is delivering Stuxnet (which is currently tormenting the Iranian nuclear program), the Macroscope was a delivery mechanism. In Piers Anthony's story, an alien culture had sabotaged the data being delivered to the Macroscope so as to drive the person being taught hopelessly insane. So the Macroscope, analogous to today's Internet, was just a delivery mechanism for the virus. What actually gets delivered is a separate entity, like Stuxnet could as easily have delivered pop-up random insults to Mohammed. But that little piece of the Stuxnet which sneaks around Iranian computers to deliver the virus, that's the "baby steps" version of The Ultimate Virus.

So tomorrow it starts: my discussion of The Perfect Virus Architecture. The Internet is the Macroscope. What gets delivered is…The Perfect Virus.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?