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The Cyber Why: What We Read This Week...
... and why you should too! (09/12/23)
Welcome back to The Cyber Why. In this week’s newsletter, we discuss the continued spread of romance scams, when you should seriously consider quitting your own startup, data lakes being the future of not only cybersecurity but all software, nation-states building offensive generative AI, and cloning humans into chatbots! We also added a new feature at the bottom of the newsletter called “Quick Hits” where we hit you with a number of articles worth reading in quick hit fashion. Have a great week, and please make sure to click on our sponsor link below!
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Romance Scams On The Rise
We discussed “pig butchering” scams on The Cyber Why earlier this year, and it seems that the trend has only grown worse. This article details a romance scam where the end result is a draining of the life savings of a woman convinced she could trust the criminal perpetrating the crime. Using multiple crypto coins to mask the movement of funds, the criminals used fake trading sites to convince the victim that she was profitable as they slowly siphoned every penny they could from her 401k. It’s an unfortunate situation and likely not one that can easily be beaten. Without continued awareness, I’m afraid we will see more and more of these types of scams moving forward.
Quitting - When Enough Is Enough
Why The Top 1% of Founders Quit Their Startups (Entrepreneur’s Handbook)
Being a Mentor for Entrepreneurs: A Practical Guide (Seraf)
Plagued by depression, insecurity, impostor syndrome, and more, being a founder is one of the most challenging and lonely roles imaginable. People always think it’s rainbows and butterflies because they see the end results of success with truly understanding the “SUCK” that comes with founding a company. I found this article by YC Alum Daniel Kang to be a very articulate version of the struggle that encompasses founding and building a business from scratch. Limited control, too focused on vanity results, loss of support infrastructure, opportunity cost, and pure loneliness are all reasons founders quit their startups. Check out this article if you struggle to build your business - you aren’t alone.
Data Lakes And The Future of Software
The Rise of Data Lakes In Software Architecture (Tomasz Tunguz)
I’ve featured Tomasz’s writing (Theory Ventures) on The Cyber Why a number of times in the past. He’s intelligent, witty, and highly articulate in his prose. This time around, he takes aim at explaining the importance of data lakes in modern software architectures. The concept of data lakes being the oil of the future has been on my brain for nearly a year now. The invention of structured and unstructured data living together and being consumed in a consistent human analog way using AI-backed techniques is the future of software. Not only is this important to understand for the future of cybersecurity technologies, but for all software going forward. This article is a short must-read.
Nation States Building Offensive Generative AI
Generative AI technology, which has enormous economic potential, is being adopted by nation-states for use in information warfare, potentially leading to an AI arms race. Reports from RAND and the Special Competitive Studies Project warn of the dangers of generative AI being used for social media manipulation and cyberattacks and call for global engagement to promote transparency and collaboration to avoid a polluted and unbelievable internet. I can’t believe people didn’t see this coming. AI is going to allow for a level of cyber attack automation that has never been seen before, and nefarious nation-states are going to be among the first to adopt these new techniques. With every tool comes both good and bad. Watch out world - automated attack agents are coming for you!
Clone Me And Build Me Into A Chatbot!
Delphi, a US-based startup, has announced a new AI digital cloning service that can create an AI chatbot mimicking a person's personality, manner of writing, or speaking by analyzing as few as four documents containing their communications. The chatbot can be deployed on a website, in Slack, or even hooked up to a phone number to answer calls and engage in discussions with callers on their behalf. Delphi has already cloned famous figures such as Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffet and allows users to clone anyone they'd like, living or dead, without their permission. The company is considering collecting monthly subscription payments for hosting people's digital clones and how much usage they get out of their audience on those clones. There are many ethical and moral issues surrounding this company - I wonder how long the technology exists before it is abused.
We are starting a new section this week in The Cyber Why called “Quick Hits.” With just a few words, we will give you the rest of the stories we found interesting but didn’t have room to write up. Enjoy these “quick hits” at your leisure!
How Will a Venture Capital Recovery Feel? Observations from 2008 (Tomasz Tunguz) - Recovery may be triggered by the next wave of successful IPOs.
We have already failed to secure AI by doing what we did before - repeating the mistakes of the past (Venture In Security) - Ross strikes again!
The Burning Man Fiasco Is the Ultimate Tech Culture Clash (Wired) - Is the Burning Man of old dead, or is there always room for reinvention?
Cybersecurity M&A Roundup: 40 Deals Announced in August 2023 - SecurityWeek (Security Week) - Deals galore!
AI Meets Cybersecurity: Understanding LLM-based Apps (Laurent Housermann) - More AI knowledge bombs.
If you’ve made it this far, you either found our musings at least semi-entertaining, OR you enjoyed the pain and kept going regardless. No matter how you made it to this point, you should know that we appreciate you. Please do us a solid and share The Cyber Why with your friends. We would love to reach a bigger audience, and referrals are how we do it. Help us out, and we’ll see you next week!