A digital world simply can't be made entirely safe. Aren't there simply too many risks attached to it for us to put so much reliance on it?
Karsten Nohl: The digital world is becoming more and more like our physical world, which is not completely free of danger either. Since the car was invented there have been motor accidents. And similarly, every new invention, every new technological wave, is inevitably going to bring side effects along with it. But the benefits typically outweigh such problems. And happily that's also the case in the world of the Internet. But of course for this to remain the case in the future, we're going to need to spend a lot of resources and do a lot of detailed work to keep the criminals out of our networks. But there will always be a little leakage.
What would be your practical advice – to businesses in particular?
Karsten Nohl: Just as we do in the real world, we should concentrate on protecting against things that have already happened to other businesses and other people. We only have to look at the newspapers to see that there are a lot of ransomware Trojans out there, and that private data can sometimes be stolen even from very large providers which have hundreds of millions of customer data records.
But aside from all that, very little is happening. For example, the sort of cyber-terror attacks that are constantly prophesied in the media, involving whole countries being cut off entirely from the Internet, have not yet occurred. In my view, we have little to fear from such risks: in fact it might only make our lives more complicated to live in fear of them all the time.