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.”