Geekonomics The Real Cost of Insecure Software (paperback)

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-11-29
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
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The Real Cost of Insecure Software


•   In 1996, software defects in a Boeing 757 caused a crash that killed 70 people…

•   In 2003, a software vulnerability helped cause the largest U.S. power outage in decades…

•   In 2004, known software weaknesses let a hacker invade T-Mobile, capturing everything from passwords to Paris Hilton’s photos…

•   In 2005, 23,900 Toyota Priuses were recalled for software errors that could cause the cars to shut down at highway speeds…

•   In 2006 dubbed “The Year of Cybercrime,” 7,000 software vulnerabilities were discovered that hackers could use to access private information…

•   In 2007, operatives in two nations brazenly exploited software vulnerabilities to cripple the infrastructure and steal trade secrets from other sovereign nations…

Software has become crucial to the very survival of civilization. But badly written, insecure software is hurting people–and costing businesses and individuals billions of dollars every year. This must change. In Geekonomics, David Rice shows how we can change it.


Rice reveals why the software industry is rewarded for carelessness, and how we can revamp the industry’s incentives to get the reliability and security we desperately need and deserve. You’ll discover why the software industry still has shockingly little accountability–and what we must do to fix that.

Brilliantly written, utterly compelling, and thoroughly realistic, Geekonomics is a long-overdue call to arms. Whether you’re software user, decision maker, employee, or business owner this book will change your life…or even save it.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
About the Authorp. xx
The Foundation of Civilizationp. 1
Software and Cementp. 4
In the Shadow of Utilityp. 10
Fragile Analogiesp. 15
Six Billion Crash Test Dummies: Irrational Innovation and Perverse Incentivesp. 19
The Story of Crash Test Dummiesp. 24
Five Stars and Risingp. 26
You Can Learn a Lot From a Dummyp. 29
Private Benefits, Social Costsp. 38
Market Failure Martini, Straight Upp. 42
The Need for Speedp. 48
The Perversity of Patchingp. 53
Irrationally Newp. 59
Market Failure Martini, with a Twist of Lemonp. 64
Wrap Up: The Martini Hangoverp. 68
The Power of Weaknesses: Broken Windows and National Securityp. 73
Only the Stupid Are Caughtp. 75
An Underground Marketp. 83
Numbers Don't Always Measurep. 87
Fraud and Terrorp. 91
Information's Warp. 94
The Theory of Broken Windowsp. 101
Broken Upon Receiptp. 108
Blind Riskp. 112
Enter the Dragonsp. 117
Evil Insidep. 120
Fixing Broken Windowsp. 127
Myopic Oversight: Blinded by Speed, Baffled by Churnp. 131
The Law of Churn, the Decree of Speedp. 133
Free Hands Have Consequencesp. 137
X-Rays Show More Than You Thinkp. 141
Don't Slow Us Down, We Have lives to Savep. 144
Discovered Only After the Damage Is Donep. 146
Knobs of Unknown Originp. 148
We'll Be Compliant, Laterp. 152
Speed Blindp. 156
You Can Learn a Lot From an Interstate Highway Systemp. 161
A Matter of Trustp. 167
One of Skill in the Artp. 172
Absolute Immunity: You Couldn't Sue Us Even If You Wanted Top. 179
The Forces of Failurep. 185
Absolution for Derelictionp. 188
Victims of a Border Warp. 194
Duty, Breach, Cause, Damagep. 202
Teleporting Tigersp. 208
The Least-Cost Avoiderp. 212
Negligence Versus Strict Liabilityp. 215
Stripping Immunityp. 217
Strict Liability and Aeronautical Chartsp. 221
The Tort of Negligent Enablement of Cyber Crimep. 232
The Verdictp. 236
Open Source Software: Free, But at What Cost?p. 243
Open and Shutp. 244
The History of Free and Openp. 251
An Incentive to Itchp. 258
The Question of Sustainable Securityp. 264
Distributed Immunity: No Body to Kick, No Soul to Condemnp. 268
Doffing the Wizard Hatsp. 269
Moving Forward: Rational Incentives for a Different Futurep. 273
Hands-offp. 275
An Inconvenient Tortp. 288
One Ring to Rule Them Allp. 291
The Great Screwp. 301
A Market for Weaknessp. 307
Closurep. 318
Epiloguep. 321
Notesp. 325
Indexp. 341
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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