Vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties of our techno-laden world


Al­most a quar­ter of a mil­lion stock mar­ket on­line in­vestors’ per­sonal data may have been stolen by hack­ers, as re­ported by the coun­try’s largest on­line stock­bro­ker, COL Fi­nan­cial to the Na­tional Pri­vacy Com­mis­sion on Oc­to­ber 20. The com­pany in­formed its clients that its com­put­ers were sub­ject of a “pos­si­ble breach” and fur­ther ad­vised them to change their pass­words used to ac­cess their on­line trad­ing port­fo­lios.

Early last year, the coun­try suf­fered its worst ever gov­ern­ment data breach when per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing fin­ger­print data and pass­port in­for­ma­tion be­long­ing to around 70 mil­lion peo­ple is said to have been com­pro­mised by hack­ers, as re­ported by BBC. Then just barely a month, the Philip­pine Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions (Com­elec) saw its web­site de­faced by hack­ers.

In the global scene just in Septem­ber, Equifax Inc, a U. S. provider of con­sumer credit scores, an­nounced that per­sonal de­tails of as many as 143 mil­lion U. S. con­sumers were ac­cessed by hack­ers be­tween mid- May and July, in what could be one of the largest data breaches in the United States.

It gets even nas­tier when Wired Mag­a­zine noted that the first six months of 2017 have seen an in­or­di­nate num­ber of cy­ber­se­cu­rity melt­downs, rang­ing from mas­sive and vi­ral Wan­naCry ran­somware, to leaks of spy tools from US intelligence agen­cies, to full-on cam­paign hack­ing.

These are the down­sides of tech­nol­ogy and a con­nected world – one that can be ma­nip­u­lated, as un­der­scored by Marc Good­man, New York Times best-sell­ing author of “Fu­ture Crimes”. He goes on to give ex­am­ples of ter­ror­ists who can use smart­phones and Google Earth and to stage at­tacks on na­tions and states, and ad­vanced drug car­tels that could syn­thet­i­cally mod­ify or­gan­isms to pro­duce il­le­gal nar­cotics.

He is not only a fu­tur­ist but a re­al­ist as well. Hav­ing worked in law en­force­ment and tech­nol­ogy, he states early in the book, “The cor­nu­copia of tech­nol­ogy that we are ac­cept­ing into our lives, with lit­tle or no self-re­flec­tion or thought­ful ex­am­i­na­tion, may very well come back and bite us.”

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