What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

USB Security (or Lack Thereof) Is A Major Problem

July 31, 2014, 6:11 PM
Usb_danger

What's the Latest?

Most people are aware of the risk they take regarding viruses and malware when trading USB drives. But as two major tech security researchers have determined, the dangers presented by malware stored in a the device's memory isn't as massive as the potential malware stored within the structure of the device's operating technology. To demonstrate this, Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell created a piece of malware called BadUSB that is designed to wreak total havoc on a personal computer. 

From Wired:

"Because BadUSB resides not in the flash memory storage of USB devices, but in the firmware that controls their basic functions, the attack code can remain hidden long after the contents of the device’s memory would appear to the average user to be deleted."

What's the Big Idea?

As Wired reports, Nohl and Lell will present findings about the fundamental flaws in USB security later this week. Their BadUSB experiment proved that no form of computer security can combat USB-exploiting malware. Simply put, USB as a design is hopelessly defective. 

Their findings, certainly not the first to point out the weaknesses of USB, could signal the end of the technology as a whole. It's not just memory sticks and external hard drives at risk; your keyboard, mouse, and iPod charger could all harbor dangerous malware capable of hijacking your computer. That BadUSB can spread undetected makes it a potential national security risk -- it's only a matter of time before government agencies and legislators get involved here. Keep an eye out for more on this story as it develops.

Check out the terrific story on Wired (linked below) and let us know what you think. 

Read  more at WIRED

Photo credit: You can more / Shutterstock

 

USB Security (or Lack There...

Newsletter: Share: