In information security, we have many widely accepted terms for network based threats. These include worms, viruses, backdoors; we have penetration tools, fuzzers, scanners, sniffers, etc. These are all very specific terms and they have a general consensus about their meaning. We don’t use dramatic and generalized terms like “pathogen”, and most people in information security even hate the term “cyber”. In fact, CSI: Cyber is not even bold enough to use wildly nonexistent terms like “cyber pathogen” in their scripts. Why? Because terms like this have no technical substance whatsoever, and will incite either fear or eye rolling (often the latter).
Ramos’s statements are not only misleading to the court, but amount to blatant fear mongering. They are designed to manipulate the court into making a ruling for the FBI, and in my opinion are egregious enough that Ramos should be held in contempt just for filing what amounts to a crazy apocalypse story.
A lot of dumb stuff has been said during and about this trial; I’m pretty sure I’ve misinterpreted some things as well. But this cyber pathogen thing is — by far — the most ridiculous thing I’ve read so far.