Inquiring Minds Wanna Hack

Hackers [courtesy Google Images]
Hackers
[courtesy Google Images]
The New York Times recently published an article entitledHacked vs. Hackers: Game On”.  That article warned of the growing dangers of “hackers” breaking into our credit card and banking accounts:

“The impact on consumers has been vast. Last year, over 552 million people had their identities stolen, and nearly 25,000 Americans had sensitive health information compromised—every day.

 “Over half of Americans, including President Obama, had to have their credit cards replaced at least once because of a breach, according to the Ponemon Group, an independent research organization.”

Of the world’s 7 billion people, over one-half billion have had their identities stolen by hackers.  In just one year.

About 110 million Americans have replaced their credit cards due to digitized assaults by hackers.  This number implies that, if you have and use a credit card, there’s at least a 50% probability that hackers will get into your account and possibly steal some of your funds.

But there are things in the digitized universe that are even more valuable than your identity and credit card accounts.  For example,

“. . .the value of those stolen credit cards, which trade freely in underground criminal markets, is eclipsed by the value of the intellectual property that has been siphoned out of United States corporations, universities and research groups by hackers in China .

“And this year, American companies learned it was not just Beijing they were up against. Thanks to revelations by the former intelligence agency contractor Edward J. Snowden, companies worry about protecting their networks from their own government.“

We are surrounded by hackers.  Some are private hackers who are criminals.  Some are hackers employed by foreign governments whose actions are effectively legal because they operate beyond the jurisdiction of the US government.  And then, there’s the US government, whose hacking is legal in the same sense that President Nixon once observed, “If the President does it, that means it’s legal.”

The potential losses are growing:

 If the tech sector cannot persuade foreign customers that their data is safe from the National Security Agency, the tech industry analysis firm Forrester Research predicts that America’s cloud computing industry stands to lose $180 billion—a quarter of its current revenue—over the next two years to competitors abroad.”

If you’re hoping for a technological solution to the hacker problem, don’t hold your breath:

“We’re slowly getting combinations of new technologies that deal with this problem,” . . . . Edward Snowden revealed that the N.S.A. might have been grabbing data from companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook in unencrypted form as it passed between their respective data centers.  Now, they all encrypt their traffic as it flows internally between their own data centers.

Written by: ALFRED ADASK – continue at ADASK’S LAW

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