Incentives need to change for firms to take cyber-security more seriously
It has been a cracking year for hacking. Barack Obama and the CIA accused Russia of electronic meddling in an attempt to help Donald Trump win the presidency. Details emerged of two enormous data breaches at Yahoo, one of the world’s biggest internet companies; one, in 2013, affected more than a billion people. Other highlights include the hack of the World Anti-Doping Agency; the theft of $81m from the central bank of Bangladesh (only a typo prevented the hackers from making off with much more); and the release of personal details of around 20,000 employees of the FBI. The more closely you look at the darker corners of the internet, the more the phrase “computer security” looks like a contradiction in terms.
佳句赏析:It has been a cracking year for hacking:cracking和hacking押韵,这是TE写作惯用的手法。
meddling:If you say that someone meddles in something, you are criticizing the fact that they try to influence or change it without being asked.vi. 干涉, 干预(他人事务)
例句:On the one side are defence types, eager to fight jihadists and angry at Pakistani meddling in southern and eastern Afghanistan.
contradiction:If you describe an aspect of a situation as a contradiction, you mean that it is completely different from other aspects, and so makes the situation confused or difficult to understand. n. 矛盾 否认, 反驳
1.contradiction in terms(矛盾语)比 contradiction of terms 普通。 2.说“阶级矛盾”通常用复数形式 class contradictions。
例句:Time was when the bond markets would force politicians to face up to this contradiction.
Why, two decades after the internet began to move out of universities and into people’s homes, are things still so bad? History is one reason: the internet started life as a network for the convenient sharing of academic data. Security was an afterthought. Economics matters, too. Software developers and computer-makers do not necessarily suffer when their products go wrong or are subverted. That weakens the incentives to get security right.


the incentives to do sth. 做某事的动力
His example gave them an incentive to more efforts. His example gave them an incentive to make more efforts. His example gave them an incentive to making more efforts. -in-chief 1.editor-in-chief 等词的复数形式是 editors-in-chief 等。 2.editorship-in-chief 等比 editor-in-chiefship 等普通。
Unfortunately, things are likely to get worse before they get better. The next phase of the computing revolution is the “internet of things” (IoT), in which all manner of everyday ob-
jects, from light bulbs to cars, incorporate computers connected permanently to the internet. Most of these gizmos are as insecure as any other computer, if not more so. And many of those making IoT products are not computer firms. IT companies have accumulated decades of hard-won wisdom about cyber-security; toaster-makers have rather more to learn.
permanently:adv. 永久地;长期不变地
例句:Washington will be permanently paralysed and America condemned to chronic uncertainty.
per-=through thorougly
permit:vi. 许可;允许
1.permit 有时有双宾语。例如:She permitted herself a smile. 2.下面两句意思相同: Her health does not permit her to go with us. Her health does not permit her going with us. 假使那主语是人,只可用第一种形式,如可以说 He does not permit her to go with us,不可说 He does not permit her going with us。 3.permit of 作 admit of 解,但不及 admit of 普通。参见 admit 1
perennial:You use perennial to describe situations or states that keep occurring or which seem to exist all the time; used especially to describe problems or difficulties.adj. 经常出现的;长期的;持久的
perforate:To perforate something means to make a hole or holes in it.vt. 穿孔于,在…上打眼
pernicious:If you describe something as pernicious, you mean that it is very harmful. (FORMAL)adj. 很有害的;恶性的
perpendicular:A perpendicular line or surface points straight up, rather than being sloping or horizontal.adj. 垂直的;成直角的
impervious:If you are impervious to someone’s actions, you are not affected or influenced by them.adj. 不可渗透的,透不过的 无动于衷的,不受影响的
In November cyber-security researchers revealed a malicious program that could take control of any smart light bulbs within 400 metres. A hacked light bulb does not sound too dangerous. But such unobtrusive computers can be recruited into remotely controlled “botnets” that can be used to flood websites with bogus traffic, knocking them offline. Routers, the small electronic boxes that connect most house holds to the internet, are already a popular target of bot-herders.Other targets are more worrying. At a computer-security conference in 2015, researchers demonstrated how wirelessly to hack a car made by Jeep, spinning its steering wheel or slamming on its brakes.As the era of self-driving cars approaches(seepage111), the time to fix such problems is now.
malicious :If you describe someone’s words or actions as malicious, you mean that they are intended to harm people or their reputation, or cause them embarrassment and upset.adj. 恶意的, 恶毒的
例句:Tsarnaev has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property.
mladjumsted:If you describe a child asmaladjusted, you mean that they have psychological problems and behave in a way which is not acceptable to society adj. 失调的,不适应环境的
malaria:Malariais a serious disease carried by mosquitoes which causes periods of fever.疟疾
Malicious: If you describe someone’s words or actions asmalicious, you mean that they are intended to harm people or their reputation, or cause them embarrassment and upset. adj. 恶意的, 恶毒的
malevolent:A malevolent person deliberately tries to cause harm or evil. (FORMAL)adj. 有恶意的;恶毒的
malfunction:If a machine or part of the body malfunctions, it fails to work properly. (FORMAL)n. 故障, 障碍


malnutrition:If someone is suffering from malnutrition, they are physically weak and extremely thin because they have not eaten enough food.n. 营养不良
One option is to leave the market to work its magic. Given the damage that cyber crime can do to companies, they have good commercial reasons to take it seriously. If firms are careless about security, they risk tarnished reputations and lost customers.A planned buy-out of Yahoo by Verizon,an American telecoms firm, may be rethought after its hacks. But these incentives are blunted when consumers cannot make informed choices. Most customers (and often, it seems, executives) are in no position to evaluate firms’ cyber-security standards. What is more, the epidemic of cyber crimeis best tackled by sharing information. Asuccessful cyber-attack on one company can be used against another. Yet it is tempting for firms to keep quiet about security breaches.

epidemic:If there is an epidemic of a particular disease somewhere, it affects a very large number of people there and spreads quickly to other areas. adj. 流行的;传染性的
例句:The society where these epidemics are occurring are ultimately going to be critical to bringing the epidemic under control.
That suggests a role for government. Researchers draw an analogy with public health, where one person’s negligence can harm everyone else—which is why governments regulate everything from food hygiene to waste disposal. Some places
are planning minimum computer security standards, and will fine firms that fail to comply. The IoT has also revived the de-
bate about ending the software industry’s long-standing exemption from legal liability for defects in its products.
negligence:If someone is guilty of negligence, they have failed to do something which they ought to do. (FORMAL)n. 疏忽, 玩忽 不修边幅
例句:And closing arguments began Tuesday in the Michael Jackson civil negligence case.
hygiene:Hygiene is the practice of keeping yourself and your surroundings clean, especially in order to prevent illness or the spread of diseases.n. 卫生学;卫生;保健法
例句:A total of 24 volunteers who took part in the study were given strict instructions on oral hygiene, diet and medication intake.
exemption:n. (义务等的)免除;免(税) (收入中的)免税额
例句:All states save Mississippi and West Virginia allow a religious exemption for vaccinations, and 20 states also allow a more vague philosophical exemption.
Neither relax nor chill
The problem is that regulation is often fragmented. America has a proliferation of state-level rules, for example, when a sin-
gle,federal regime would be better. Regulation can also go too far. From January financial institutions in New York must comply with a new cyber-security law that many think sets the bar for breach notifications too low. Changing the liability regime for software could chill innovation by discouraging coders from trying any thing new.
fragmented:A fragment of something is a small piece or part of it. n. 碎片;片断或不完整部分
例句:Among the debris is a protein fragment called SNTF—which in more severe cases, spills into the bloodstream.
proliferation:n. 增殖,分芽繁殖
例句:The conferential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency appears on an American non-proliferation website.
Rule-makers can, however, set reasonable minimum expectations. Many IoT devices can not have their software updated, which means that security flaws can never be fixed. Products should not be able to operate with factory user names and passwords. No software program can be made impregnable, but liability regimes can reflect firms’ efforts to rectify flaws
once they become apparent. Firms need to be encouraged to take internet security more seriously. But overly detailed prescriptions will just hack everyone off.
impregnable:If you describe a building or other place as impregnable, you mean that it cannot be broken into or captured.adj. 攻不破的, 坚不可摧的
例句:PCatelyn wanted to slap her. Uncle Brynden had tried to warn her, she realized. No castle is impregnable.