By Marc Goodman and Andrew Hessel
There have always been hackers. If we look back 30 years to the earliest days of the personal computer, the first iteration were DIY types with cobbled-together devices, tinkering in garages and basements and meeting periodically to share their stories. Their intentions were mostly non-malicious: they hacked for fun and to learn what was possible. From these dabblers came the first generation of technology entrepreneurs, such as Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates
But, as computing grew into a global and highly profitable industry, hacker numbers swelled and a darker side to the culture emerged. In the early days of criminal hacking it was about showing what was possible – breaking into systems for fun and the challenge. Later, a profit motive emerged, which attracted criminal elements that were serious, organised and global. As a result, the US now classifies cyberspace as a new domain of battle – as significant as air, land or sea – and has new agencies to secure it.
But there’s another domain of battle coming in the near future, one that is as real, yet as intangible, as cyberspace. It is likely to become the most com- plex yet: it’s easy to hack and hard to defend because there’s no way to live without it. It is the domain of biology.