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We have some catching up to do on cyber-security

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If you want to know about the crimes of the past, read Agatha Christie. If you want to know about the crimes of the future, read Marc Goodman.

Goodman started his career as a Los Angeles police officer, and first forayed into the tech crime beat in a fairly unremarkable way.

“When I was working as a detective one day my lieutenant screamed my name across the detective squad room, ‘Goodman, get over here!’. I thought I was in trouble, I said, ‘Yeah, boss. What’s up?’ He said, ‘I have a question for you. Do you know how to spell check in WordPerfect?’ And I said, ‘Sure. Shift F2.’ He had a big grin on his face and said ‘I knew you were my guy, you’re my technogeek. I’ve got a case for you.’ Back in the mid-’90s the fact that I could spell check put me at the techno-elite of police officers.”

Goodman says when he joined the force he had seven months of training in handwriting and was once reprimanded for typing a report on an electric typewriters. He says his experiences are representative of just how far law enforcement is behind cyber criminals.

“There’s Moore’s Law and there are Moore’s Outlaws,” he says. Goodman has worked for Interpol, the FBI, even the U.S. Secret Service, and through his new book “Future Crimes
he’s feverishly trying to sound the alarm that we will soon be more vulnerable than we have ever been. Why?

“Our cell phones and computers are now online,” Goodman says. “But in the future it’s going to be our cars, airplanes, pacemakers, pets, elevators, prisons. Every physical object is going online because of something called ‘the Internet of things.’”

Somewhere between 50 and 200 billion things will be connected soon, he says, and that will take the new crime paradigm to a terrifying level.

“Crime used to be a one-on-one affair. Go out and buy a gun or a knife if you’re a criminal, rob one person at a time,” Goodman says. “Now through technology it becomes possible for one person to reach out and touch over 100 million people.”

Goodman believes we need a literal army to fight this new threat.

“We have recruitment stations for the army and police and we have so many people working in high tech,” Goodman says. “We need people with those skills to be brought in, put through background checks and trained. We had the Civilian Defense Corp. to protect neighborhoods from the Germans during World War II and the Russians during the Cold War. We have the Red Cross to help in disasters. There is no one that can step in for a cyber-crisis.”

Here are some of the things Goodman told us that made our eyes bulge or just flat-out tear up.

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