Slight changes in quotation, huge difference in the message

In case it’s not blatantly obvious, I tend to think little of the whole cyber war doom and gloom talk that is so pervasive in certain quarters. I have listened to Marcus J.  Ranum speak on this subject (and many others on information security related topics since about 1997) and I know his stance quite well, so it took me by surprise when he was quoted as saying “I used to go around saying cyber war is bull then Stuxnet happened and I realized, ok..”

The person that the quote came from, Richard Bejtlich, is Mandiant’s CSO. Mandiant, for those that don’t know, is in the business of helping industry and government defend themselves from, you guessed it, cyber war threats. Or Advanced Persistent Threats, as they call it.

So I asked if it is an accidental shortening of a quote or something more intentional.

I have contacted MJR yesterday and he confirmed that he has not, by any mean, change his stance on cyber war: it’s still a load of bahooey. And he agreed that the quote as tweeted could easily be read in the wrong light.

End result critical thinking and critical reading is a dying art. Ditto humility and owning up to mistakes.