Idea Almanac

“Six months before Edward Joseph Snowden became a household name, I found myself flanked by Germany’s preeminent industrial security specialist and two Italian hackers at a restaurant in South Beach. We were all in Miami to attend the same bizarre conference—an annual invite-only gathering of the smartest fifty-plus minds in industrial-control security, a particularly terrifying subset of the industry that examines the myriad ways hackers can break into oil and water pipelines, power grids, and nuclear facilities. That evening the conference organizer, a former NSA cryptographer, invited some of us out to dinner. Looking back, the invitation had all the makings of a twisted joke: A reporter, an NSA codebreaker, a German, and two Italian hackers walk into a bar”

Excerpt From: Nicole Perlroth. “This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends.”