Season 2 Episode 5

Nicole Perlroth on spyware, “mutually assured digital destruction” and educating boardrooms

Nicole Perlroth

In Nicole Perlroth’s blockbuster 2021 book, “This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends,” the former New York Times journalist conveys cybersecurity experts’ mounting anxiety about increasingly dangerous digital threats. From spyware to ransomware, the black market for cyber tools that skirt the law is lucrative and often poorly understood.

Nicole points to catastrophic cyberattacks like NotPetya, a 2017 ransomware look-alike that attempted to obliterate Ukraine’s critical infrastructure before causing billions of dollars in damages worldwide. But even with geopolitical tensions now at a fever pitch, Nicole, now a cybersecurity advisor and investor, explains why “mutually assured digital destruction” has so far helped stave off major attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure.

Also covered in the podcast:

  • The importance of educating board members about cybersecurity
  • What constitutes a cyber weapon
  • Why Nicole is optimistic about the future of ransomware