Holiday Reading – James Bond to the rescue?

Sometimes when I read the news it seems like a script to a new James Bond movie. Dr No is at it again with a 300,000 strong cyberarmy whose only purpose is to get into other countries secret networks. And Blofeld, or maybe Goldfinger, is helping countries deceive their citizens as well as an entire continent.

What’s 007 up to? Having a martini, shaken not stirred, or fighting Dr No’s cyberarmy?

How about when MI5 warned that Dr No is making a huge attempt at hacking into Western companies concentrating on defence, manufacturing, PR and law. They also said that “honeytraps” of beautiful girls were being used occasionally. Apparently it happened to the deputy mayor of London who woke up to find that he had been drugged by a pretty woman who downloaded secret files from his Blackberry while he was knocked out.

Dr No in cyberspace

If you believe the news, Dr No wants to use cyber warfare to destroy vital infrastructure in the West in areas like government, finance, business, military and defence. And the irony is that many of his cyberarmy soldiers have actually been educated at top institutions in the West.

The worst, according to Wired, is that nobody is immune to this kind of APT attacks. And they seem to happen mainly to companies and countries of interest to Dr No, who deny the allegations.

Blofeld’s evil genius at work

Some Euro countries current economic trouble was kept hidden for a long time with the help of Blofelt who, for a hefty fee, assisted them with sweeping their problems under the carpet to make Europe believe everything was fine. Nothing illegal just questionable from an ethic point of view and very profitable for Blofeld. He was also very active in orchestrating the global recession by all kinds of actions that almost brought down the entire American banking system and not to forget the substantial part he played in bringing AIG to its knees. With the Blofelds of this world it would have been tricky even for James Bond to do anything since they are not breaking the law. But that could be solved by his license to kill.

Where’s 007?

The continuation of the scripts would be M asking Miss Moneypenny to find 007. In his meeting with M Bond would be told everything is at his disposal to fix the problems. And as we know, James Bond always succeeds. No doubt he would have innovative and helpful gadgets from Q that would give him the upper hand, not least, in cyberspace. Can’t help wondering what 007 would need to do to succeed in the current scripts? And who would be the “honeytrap” Bond girl that would change sides to help him out?

Good and plausible scripts for Bond movies, don’t you think? Highlights how thin the line between fiction and reality is. If you believe everything you read in the news, that is. With a long background in media I am aware that not everything you read is true. Many times the negative aspects are blown out of proportion and facts are sometimes simply just invented. But there is at least a grain of truth in these stories.

Fiction is often based on reality but the latest ventures of Blofeld and Dr No, again, proves that it works the other way round as well. Maybe the perpetrators actually got their inspiration from fiction? Maybe I’m not far of when guessing on Dr No and Blofeld?

For your eyes only

Blofeld’s actions must, so far at least, have harmed the world more than Dr No has?

Makes you wonder if we live in a real world or life is like a Bond movie, doesn’t it? As long as the Dr Nos and Blofelds of this world are not caught and brought to justice they thrive. But the good news is that after going through a multitude of difficulties 007 always succeeds and end up having a wonderful time with the Bond girl. So let’s hope the real world will play out like that.

Considering the troubles caused by Snowden maybe it’s time for intelligence services to, again, revert to “for your eyes ony” dossiers? That way further embarrassment could be prevented.

Begs the question where is James Bond at the moment? Hopefully not with a beautiful “honeytrap” that doesn’t see the error of her ways. Much better that he is speeding in his Aston Martin through the streets of London to attend a meeting with M. Or maybe he is actually recording a new Bond movie based on the above scripts? If so I wonder if the villain will be Dr No or Blofeld? Which one of them has caused most harm? Despite Dr Nos cyberarmy I tend to believe that Blofeld’s schemes have, at least up until now, been more harmful to the world.

Photo: Flickr theringhotel’s photostream +Paul Baack)

61 thoughts on “Holiday Reading – James Bond to the rescue?

  1. Yes, I have visions of Bond being given a special ring or watch that detects cyber activity. The female star it the movie would have to be a computer geek who has never set foot in any form of combat. There has to be a physical plot with the great first scene and the climax at the end. The first scene could be narrowly averting an air traffic control disaster and the final scene… well….I don't want to give it away.

    As life imitates art of vice versa – there do need to be good guys who are attacking these problems with a tremendous sense of passion, ethics and integrity. Catarina, it is great that you speak of them as it shows that you are an optimist who wants to help move the world forward and away from these challenges. Me, I am conflicted to a certain extent. It is terribly disappointing that there would be people who commit so much effort towards using computers for criminal enterprise. I am also concerned that too much of our world has gone electronic and at what price? However, were it not to be for this new electronic world I would not be reading your blog and meeting as many brilliant people.

  2. Catarina
    What a delight to see this reality/ phantsay pancake throwed in the air; both sides equal serious possebilities.
    Did you know that a very good thrillerwriter told in one of his books how someone stole paintings from a museum ( making false copies and threated them with a knife, lifting the originals from their sensor hanging system and pretend with this change that the alarm went of because of the damage) and afterwards some person copied this scene.

    I agree with you but don't forget; even beat dr No, there is always another dr No and Bond becomes famous.
    There are Bonds working. But the same as your article about leaders and inventors, we miss thrue and talented 007's. People who have the license to kill, the style of extraordinary and the creativity to act within the limits of the law. The planning, the reports and the uniformity are obstacles to achieve that. Each step or action needs to be planned years in front and each step needs to be controlled ahead; creativity is dangerous because the responsable people could be judged on that afterwards.
    So that's why creativity as the attack to the Twin Towers was such a shock; CIA, FBI and so on , considered it as phantasy, at the moments they were informed. You can't coach people in that way to be so destructive, suicidal and so planned.

    The new James Bond will be someone who makes plans, reports and tells every step as James Bond and secretly follows other ways as 007.
    Two different persons in one body.
    One is gay, the other straight. One is stylish, the other a combat person.
    One is clumsy as officeboy or-girl and the other is a aware of each tiny fact of her actions.
    I think she looks like you.

    Thom

    1. Yes it's interesting how close reality and fiction are isn't it? Maybe we should ban the future Blofelds and Dr Nos of this world from reading books and watching movies? It would actually prevent some crimes from ever taking place. Especially since most people don't have enough imagination to come up with some of the ideas fiction writers have had.

      1. Maybe we should ask filmmakers, writers, dancers and actors to watch the incoming information about criminals, suspected actions, movements.
        Ask choreographers to plan surveillance systems.
        Let mimeplayers teach observers in Secret Services about bodylanguage as behaviour.
        Listen to the voice of political leaders or other leaders about the false tune.
        Be sure Catarina and others that the most criminals, for instance, read no literature and have more phantasy in avoiding the borders of law; they invented creative accountancy.
        But they play to survive and to win. Playing as art or to show is something completely different.
        Ban these players with plans, methods and logic is banning the devil with a research and conclusions about black velvet.
        Let me give some examples; not the big issues but just on the street.
        "I saw a young kid hanging around and I watched him. He went into a shop close to my house, wich was robbed already two times. I looked into the shop searching for something to buy and waited longer than the timespam the boy could handle. He came out and walked away some meters. Waited there at a strange spot. I went on and suddenly turned around to go back watching the windowscreen. Turned around and watched the boy straight into his eyes. As if I wondered that he did not smoke after being in the cigaretteshop. I tuned back went home and turned back watching the boy and went into my house. After a minut I came out in a rush and quickly went to the windowscreen, grabbed my wallet, hesitate and slowly walked away as if still doubting. I went out so quickly that if the boy was still outside, he would not conclude I came out to watch him. But he was again in the shop. He did not know what I wanted, Could not interpretate what I realy did. It looked natural that I was thinking about buying cigars, He knew I had seen his face. He would be guilty if he again would come out the shop without buying and do this te third time. So he came out and went off. I went in the shop and told the woman what I thought. She was warned, the boy saw me going in and was not sure what I would buy".
        Is this a story, a mime-act or reality. It was reality and I know how to play with other actors.

        It is possible to see the patterns of play. Analyzes of these patterns always give conclusions from the perspective of logic and familiar patterns. I call that ; searching on the street in the evening for your lost contact lens where the streetlight gives enough light; not necessary the place where you lost it.
        People do that because ( following the metaphor), when lost the lens you barely see and more light is the thing you want. Trusting other senses is not the first impuls.
        But for those science fiction writers, those phantasy actors and those creative players it is their first impuls.

        Let them help; like Nasa once helped foodindustry. Like Dolphins helped the army and like profilers help police.

        One more; shouting STOP as policeman, if someone with an iron bar is in the movement downwards to hit something, is wasting energy. The person with the bar is unable to stop this movement. The turningpoint of lifting up the bar to the downwards movement is the best time. Timing.

        Don't ban movies and books, but let them watch good ones. Rubbish will lead to rubbish.
        Phantasy is something else than evrything is possible.

        Sorry for the long reply, but it has been my business for a very long time. I teached students to use the art to change peoples destructive behaviour. Storytelling in India to educate sexual behaviour, drama to observe, music to lead people, danceperformance for politicians about process-coaching.

  3. Some crimes of violence are the product of misguided emotion/passion or some sort of psychological disorder. Cyber criminals are extremely calculating in their actions. There are several cyber scams where they target lawyers with the fabricated need to use an escrow account for the payment of support or to get alleged money out of a third world country. Another type of scam involves a fake lottery.

    Catarina, keep educating people. I very much look forward to your next treatise.

  4. Makes you wonder which hostile nation hired Blofeld's SPECTRE or SMERSH and if they hacked the Toyota method? Why not malware on an onboard computer is as likely as negligence. So, who benefits from Toyota's downfall and Western car drivers plagued with uncontrollable cars?

  5. Catarina,
    This is a wonderful analogy and makes the "secret world" of international relations comprehenable to the 'common man' in a way in which they can identify and make sense of it. Bravo! I look forward to your future posts.

  6. I love the analogies, Catarina. The worrying thing about your “fictional plot” is just how easily Dr No could bring things to a halt – could Western power grids be disabled, what about banking systems or stock markets? The potential damage from cyber-crime is huge and one can just see Dr No in his secret island hideaway holding the West to ransom…

    Fortunately, it does seem that Q has some great tools to deploy against these potential cyber-criminals, but I imagine he is kept busy updating them all the time.

    Exacerbating the problem, of course, is that in the current environment James Bond has had his license to kill revoked as it is not politically correct, and is only allowed to issue written warnings to Dr No’s criminals after a lengthy investigation. For some reason, this does not seem to deter them, and they don’t appear to be bound by the same set of rules. Oh well, hopefully common sense will prevail and he will get his license back in time to save the world.

  7. Great comment Guy. Cyberwar like that would be difficult to handle, even for James Bond. Don't think the Bonds of this world have stopped taking advantage of their license to kill though. Happens all the time, according to the news.

  8. James Bond stories (and movies) have always fascinated me. What made the stories more plausible for me was that our family lived in the Asian Pacific for a bunch of years. It's fun to see a Bond movie scene in Japan or Hong Kong or Thailand and immediately recognize the street or location. On Guam, we saw submarines–up close–and we rode on a submarine in Hawaii (I want a submersible Lotus like the one Bond drove in "The Spy Who Loved Me"). With the recent news about the Russian spy ring in the U.S. — there seems to be a lot more *meat* for some good Bond-style stories.

    My favorite Bond was Sean Connery. And the gadgets "Q" cooked up for him were always interesting. With all the new technologies coming out–everything from nanotechnology to super-stealth aircraft to WiFi to mini-laser-light-emitting-diodes (LEDs) to retinal-scan devices to 3D/holographic projects (some of which were sort of predicted and simulated in earlier Bond movies) are now here for real.

    I'll always be a fan of James Bond–the books and movies inspired me to cook up my own "tribute" for those stories: http://www.squidoo.com/Bond_James-Bond

    1. Glad you enjoy Bond. My "second mother" was the role model for Ian Flemming's Honey, played by Ursula Andress in the movie. Sean's a great guy but in reality he's not like Bond but Indiana Jones' father.

  9. I've always enjoyed Bond and therefore was very drawn to your article. Great parallels!

    I think today, perhaps, the average person who takes notice and does something about unethical behavior is our Bond. The heroes, who sometimes go unnoticed, but who none-the-less risk their lives to help others. Or just the person who writes their Congressman to say, "I would like to tell you how I feel about ________ and ask you not to vote for ___________."

    We can all be Bond. I'm Sherman – Laura Sherman!

  10. I enjoyed your post. It was a fun analogy. It is scary to think that the situation you described is plausible. We are seeing more and more security breaches in that threaten the identities of hundreds of individuals. It is not beyond imagination to think the breaches could impact the nation.

  11. Excellent article (or should I say "plot?"), written by a very intelligent and beautiful woman. The villains are not only Dr.No and Blofeld, but Goldfinger (look at the spectacular increase in the price of gold since 2006), Franz Sánchez (the drug baron), Elliot Carver (our favourite media mogul) and Le Chiffre himself. As for Bond, I expect he's right under your nose…

  12. Interesting. I have studied Joseph Campbell, the American mythologist who identified the twelve steps of the Hero’s Journey, which he says are present in all great stories. George Lucas attended Campbell’s lectures before devising Star Wars, and his theories are taken very seriously by Hollywood.

    In both news and drama you often have a protagonist, a challenge, a struggle, a resolution, a reward, and the public can get very upset if the news story doesn’t work out in a ‘neat’ way. For example, whatever the rights and wrongs of the Gulf oil spill, BP’s beleaguered CEO Tony Hayward has suffered because he comes across as ‘unheroic’ when what the public wanted was a Bond-style dragon-slayer.

  13. Isn't it ironic? In todays world of hight tech and electronic power, perhaps the best way to protect strategic and national secrets is to use pen, paper, and a shredder.

  14. Enjoyed the Reading, Catarina.

    The New James Bond? He is less likely to be driving an Aston Martin and more likely to be erasing his hard drive to destroy evidence of his activity.

    He may be in a posh flat in London, a row house in Georgetown, or somewhere in Sweden.

    He is tracking the cyber hackers.
    He is planting false information.
    He is tracing the sources.
    He is hacking his way into the computers of the hackers to obtain information.
    He may be a she.

    If Dr. Pangloss is right, he makes his martinis with Gin.

    "Extra-dry Beefeater Martini on the Rocks. Hat trick with the olives."

    Miss Honeypot? She no doubt saw the movie The Seventh Seal and is engaging Mr. Bond under the guise of on-line gaming. Twitter-repartee. Flattering his abilities while teasing him out of his on-line persona–charming, witty–to taunt the truth out of him.

    I read Casino Royale. I saw the movie. Great action film–not a Bond film.

    Regards,

    Slim
    My recent post Merkel's Last Stand

  15. A Response to Slim's comment :
    Enjoyed the Reading, Catarina "James Bond to the rescue?"

    The spirit of innovation does not start it with the capacity to be unaware of the references temporarily ?
    Here in the case of “Bond film” is this an innovation compared to preceding films?
    If yes ? There will be always people to refute this innovation (because too in variation and not enough of resemblance to preceding films)!!
    Please excuse me for my bad English.

    In French :
    L’esprit d’innovation ne commence-t-il pas par la capacité à ignorer temporairement les références ?
    Ici dans le cas de « bond film » est-ce une innovation par rapport aux films précédents ?
    Si oui, il y aura toujours des personnes pour réfuter cette innovation (car trop en écart et pas assez de ressemblance avec les films précédents) !!

    Regards,
    Franck

    1. Franck, I don't know about you, but I have lost interest in the new Bond films. Watching 007 is entertainment and why do we need to update them? My favourite was Sean Connery and those films are still very popular since they provide escape from reality.

      1. Franck,
        It is not the innovation. It is not the new Bond, (though, as with Catarina, for me Sean Connery will always be James Bond)

        The real problem was that Everything that made a Bond film what it was–A film based on a book by Ian Fleming–was lost. Not that the writers cannot go beyond the book, but they've gone beyond the writer, the culture,

        Having read the biography of Ian Fleming, I can infer that whoever wrote that Action-packed film–Casino Royale– falls under the heading of "knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing."

        Alas…plus ca change…plus ca change…..

        Slim

  16. Catarina, This is a delightful take on a very serious and real problem. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I for one don't believe that the public needs to know everything. There's a fine line between deliberately withholding information with the intent to deceive but sometimes it amazes me to hear information on the news that could possibly compromise our security because it's public information.

    Thanks for sharing such a lighthearted look on a serious topic.
    My recent post End of the Year Recap – a Time to Reflect

  17. Catarina — when you've been hacked yourself, you come to understand how disruptive it can be to your life. My email was recently hacked and I gott flooded with thousands of emails. My web host finally fixed the problem but there are an army of evil people out there who working 24/7 trying to batter through company defenses — and to a large extent they are succeeding. I'm afraid even James Bond wouldn't be able to hold back this army of hackers. When they can infiltrate the the largest companies and government agencies, you know you are up against a formidable enemy.
    My recent post The New York Times Cancels My Subscription – and 8 Million Others! A Missed Opportunity

    1. Jeannette, don't take my short story more seriously than it is:-) But we do need a good force in the world to counteract organised crime, if not things will stay the same…

  18. This is a very prophetic post in light of a major corporation being hacked at the tune of 40 million customers. It has impacted most all financial institutions and put all card holders on high alert. This all at the holiday season when companies can make for break their year. It does show how vulnerable we really are in the cyber world. 🙂
    My recent post Ruffino Prosecco: Sparkling Wine

  19. Very interesting in how you brought fictional characters to what is currently happening in the world. I really think you are on to something. While I have a touch of conspiracy theorist in my DNA as well, it is cool how the 007 analogy does in fact mimic real life!

    Thank you for sharing Catarina!
    My recent post Do you have Friends who provide you Benefits?

  20. I think there has been a bit more attention on things like this since Stuxnet got it's media debut last year. My father read an article about it in our living room to me at the end of which he nearly wet himself when I coughed theatrically into my fist *COUGH* Mosad *COUGH* ahem… sorry about that.
    My recent post Wordy McWordyson strikes again (or why you should write like a person, not an artificial intelligence)

  21. Ha! What a great post. Truth IS stranger than fiction, yes? Always has been. Or the often said "You can't make this stuff up!" line that I'm hearing more often these days. But it was a great and fun analogy and a wonderful way to bring attention to such a weighted topic! Great job!
    My recent post WHERE’S THE JUSTICE… BAH HUMBUG!

  22. With Snowden doing what he did, even though he has consequences, we wouldn't be having the conversations we are having about the whole issue of privacy, where it begins and where it ends in regards to a country keeping its citizens safe. Whenever someone takes this kind of step of speaking out, legally (I understand Snowden could have been an insider legally exposing this) or illegally, it is ironic that we somehow benefit. As you wrote this a while ago, it's interesting isn't it, that Mr Bond antics still happen in our physical lives. Thanks!
    My recent post It’s Not Wrong, It’s Just Different

    1. Pat, your NSA is in for trouble. Why? Because their activities is costing corporate America money. Boeing lost a huge deal in Brazil to Swedish Saab for the simple reason that the NSA had been spying on the Brazilian president. The irony is that the Swedish plane has been almost impossible to sell on a global scale but because of US spying it's suddenly a hit. The bottom line is that anyone who wants to be elected in the US relies on money from corporate America. So the NSA will have to be reined in and they will be because of ambitious US politicians.

  23. Truly a Catarina's World piece! 🙂

    I think you mean where is "Pierce Brosnan" don't you? Because he was the best, smoothest, most suspenseful bond. But I'd say most bonds are at some exotic resort this time of year.

    I too am in the bond mood. Mentioned Bloefeld a few posts back when I reviewed WP com and WP org, and got my pops some James Bond gloves I'll be giving him in a moment!

    Merry Xmas!
    My recent post Guest-Posting and Guest-Hosting: Best Practices

  24. I might be the only adult in an English speaking country who hasn't seen a James Bond film—not ever. I realize that this makes me less than culturally literate, so I didn't "get" all the references in your blog post. However, there is no question but that life imitates art—-or is it the other way around?

    PS: I'm still not planning to see any James Bond films. 😉
    My recent post Handel’s Messiah – Philadelphia Orchestra Style

    1. All the James Bond films are brilliant, but my fav' actor is Danial Craig. He is an overall Great Actor, with "talent" and many other Movies he Stars in are Cracker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *