Real-time communications clearly haven't caught up with this particular airline process. No harm done, really, just a little bit of time wasted. Now that I've vented about that experience, let me tell you about an amazing real-time process, one that is so sophisticated it doesn't require human involvement. Before you get excited, I should tell you that it will waste a lot of your time, and the potential for harm is quite high. I'm talking about automated hacking, a problem that's become so bad it's nearly impossible to quantify. In as little as six seconds, an unprotected PC can be infected by a software-driven attack. Twenty-four hours a day, bots search the Internet for vulnerable systems and then churn out spam or malicious code. Find out how some companies are trying to outsmart automated threats with automated defenses in our story, Machine Wars. For now, we aren't quite sure who's going to win these machine wars.
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