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Integrity - use of values or principles to guide action in the situation at hand.

Below are links and discussion related to the values of freedom, hope, trust, privacy, responsibility, safety, and well-being, within business and government situations arising in the areas of security, privacy, technology, corporate governance, sustainability, and CSR.

Phear of Pharming - Can your car be attacked?, 14.3.05


[...] Sunday's New York Times did report, however, that the tools are falling into place for computer viruses to start affecting our lives in another seat where we spend much of our time -- the car.

'That frightening prospect has had Internet message boards buzzing this year, amid rumors that a virus had infected Lexus cars and S.U.V.'s. The virus supposedly entered the cars over the Bluetooth wireless link that lets drivers use their cellphones to carry on hands-free conversations through the cars' microphones and speakers,' the New York Times reported. 'The prospect is not so implausible. A handful of real if fairly benign cellphone viruses have already been observed, in antivirus industry parlance, 'in the wild.''

The Lexus rumor doesn't appear to hold up, the Times said, but it built a plausible case for how we could find ourselves 'at the wheel of two tons of rolling steel that has malevolent code coursing through its electronic veins.'

And why not? As a Washington Post story explained a couple weeks ago, 'Guys who would have been banging under the hood with oily wrenches a generation ago are now more likely to work their magic with lines of software and a serial cable...It's still possible to spend a Sunday afternoon tinkering on your Lexus in the driveway, if by tinkering you mean changing the oil. Otherwise, most home mechanics are restricted to cosmetic changes, such as installing a new sound system or putting light-up dragon heads on the wiper fluid nozzles. Almost anything that makes a car perform better is going to involve electronics.'

Among the other portions of our vehicles now controlled or supported by computers, according to the Times: engine, transmission, brakes, air bags, entertainment systems, antiskid systems, steering, throttle. Then there are the telematics, the diagnostic systems that find problems in the car, not to mention General Motors's OnStar system for diagnosing problems remotely. Microsoft, as the Times notes, will provide its telematics services to Fiat for a real marriage made in heaven.

When you consider that these systems talk together in a big network, all you need to do is introduce a link to the outside computer world, i.e., the Internet. "In a car with a stand-alone cellphone installation there would be no pathway for pernicious computer code to enter the vital electronic systems. But as automakers work to take advantage of linked processors, ready exchanges of data -- and malware -- become possible," the Times said.

The article listed a number of ways that this could happen in the near future, but quickly added that it wouldn't be all that easy: "Getting a virus to propagate from one system to another would be akin to designing malware that could pass from a Windows environment to a Macintosh system and on to a Linux machine -- infecting them all ... Whether virus writers can overcome the hurdles remains an open question, but evidence from the PC world suggests that as on-board networking becomes more widespread and standardized, they will certainly try."

Yes, leave the driving to us, as Greyhound says.



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"We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves. We can resolve the clash of interests without conceding our ideals. And even the necessity for the right kind of compromise does not eliminate the need for those idealists and reformers who keep our compromises moving ahead, who prevent all political situations from meeting the description supplied by Shaw: "smirched with compromise, rotted with opportunism, mildewed by expedience, stretched out of shape with wirepulling and putrefied with permeation.
Compromise need not mean cowardice. .."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, "Profiles in Courage"


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