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Robert J. Hansen @robertjhansen
, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
"I don't know much about cyberwarfare—"

Nobody does. Welcome to the club.

"—but why don't you believe the Bloomberg story about the Chinese rooting, uh, well, everything?"

Economics, not technology. You don't need to understand tech: you just need to be able to multiply. 1/
Imagine you have a skeleton key that can open anything from a twelve-year-old's locked diary to a bank vault. The problem is as soon as you get caught using it everyone's going to change their locks. 2/
You have an expected maximum possible loot it'll help you steal. Billions upon billions. You're going after Fort Knox. So even if there's only a one in a thousand risk of getting caught, you can't justify using the key for anything less than a million bucks profit. 3/
The expected loss if you're caught ($1 billion) multiplied by the risk of being caught (1 in 1000) equals the minimum profit you need to clear ($1 million) to justify using the skeleton key. This is straight-up insurance math, basic actuarial science. 4/
If anyone has a skeleton key of the kind Bloomberg was talking about, it would be such a valuable tool that it would literally be *too valuable to ever risk using*. It's worth far more as an arrow in the quiver than as an arrow in flight. 5/
So no, I don't think the Bloomberg story is accurate. I think the Chinese services are much smarter than to invest billions and billions in a capability it would be completely irrational to deploy. The claimed story just doesn't make sense. 6/
(Note: the actuarial analysis I gave is *extremely* rough. A real risk-reward analysis would be a lot more complicated. But for a Twitter explanation, what I gave will do just fine...) 7/7 fin
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