The evolution of a cryptographer

Tuesday, 21 October 2003, 5:26 PM EST

For a while, it seemed as if Bruce Schneier himself was encrypted. No one could decipher his whereabouts for an interview with CSO. This was unusual because Schneier, founder and CTO of Counterpane Internet Security, is usually aggressively available to the press. Plus, he has a new book to promote—Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World—a decidedly iconoclastic and non-IT view of security. But the book also challenges physical security practitioners to learn a thing or two from the infosecurity ranks: to think in terms of systems.

Beyond Fear represents Schneier's most ambitious departure yet from infosecurity, an arc he's been traversing for some time now. When Senior Editor Scott Berinato finally found him, at a folk festival in Winnipeg, Canada, he was eager to talk about his evolution from mathematician to security generalist, and about the cultural disconnect between physical and information security and what he means by "brittle security."

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