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Niece Cailin

niece Cailin clinging to Uncle Bryn's leg

Feeling insecure?
It's worse than
you think.

Computer security: Talk about your oxymorons. We're the most technologically advanced nation in the world, and the most vulnerable. We're sitting ducks.

Bill's novel No Outward Sign is a cybersecurity thriller that brings the issues to life. His hope is that the novel will help nudge the home team to action. Get the story behind the book.

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Read news stories that illustrate droll computer humor. Are security professionals adding value or, in fact, subtracting?

"Rave evaluations" as a speaker. Hear why, as a nation, we're toast. Bill is often asked to speak about tools for spying on employees or spouses. Be very afraid.

In Bill's novel No Outward Sign, a band of cyber-rebels uses steganography to hide their messages in music. Do it yourself by hiding a message in an image. Try the demo.

These seven articles are the cult cybersecurity classics that Bill published between 1986 and 1992. Or read the paper on assurance, never submitted for publication.

  Funny Stories


  Available talks

  Bill's techie bio


  Try a demo

  The SIGSAC papers


The Cybersecurity Story

You read every day about amateur hackers, but not about the real threat of professionals, against whom our society is about as safe as beach cottages on a sand bar.

The stories cited in Bill's novel really happened:

In 1998, cyber adversaries took over hundreds of government systems. The deputy secretary of defense called it the most organized and systematic cyber attack ever against the Defense Department. The government thought Iraq might be behind the assault and assembled a massive response force in Operation Solar Sunrise. The enemy force turned out to be two kids, under the tutelage of a twenty-one-year-old mentor.

Bill and Bob
consult with their advisor

Bill and Bob consult with their advisor

Half a century
ahead of fashion.

Gatsby, Tabbas, and Zibby were members of a group called the Phonemasters. They broke into the networks of half a dozen phone companies. They could eavesdrop on calls and had access to portions of the national power grid and air traffic control systems. They hacked into the FBI National Crime Information Center and warned targets of FBI wiretaps. One of their customers was reportedly the Sicilian Mafia. They went to jail in 2000.

Bill, John, and Bob

Bill, John, and Bob

With punks like these,
you don’t even need a trial.

Federal Computer Week reported (William Matthews, 25 July 2002) that federal law enforcement and intelligence officials warned Congress of al Qaeda operatives who had been probing the electronic infrastructure of American companies "in search of ways to disable power and water supplies, disrupt phone service and damage other parts of the critical infrastructure."

According to the story, Rep Lamar Smith (R-Texas) claimed a successful cyberattack could cause billions of dollars in damage and lead to thousands of deaths. Smith is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee.

The Federal Computer Week story reported the findings of a Business Software Alliance survey of technology professionals:

Seventy-four percent thought it was "nearly certain" that there will be a cyberattack against American financial institutions in the next year.

Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said they expect a major cyberattack against the federal government in the next year.

Respondents said that attacks also are likely against communications systems, transportation infrastructure, water systems, dams and power plants.

For more information, check out these links:

CERT® Coordination Center, http://www.cert.org/


National Cyber Security Alliance, http://www.staysafeonline.info

An awesome portal for those who want to dig deeper is:



Updated: 04-Mar-2003