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Cyber Insecurity

We are certainly living in interesting times. Over the years I've read a lot of science fiction stories that depicted various flavors of the future, many of which involved the concept of cyber security and nefarious strangers trying to access one's data.

Generally speaking, this sort of thing really didn’t affect most of us until relatively recently in the scheme of things. How things have changed. Now it seems that we hear about data breaches on an almost daily basis, many of which can put their victims at risk of identity theft.

In 2013, for example, we discovered that hackers had managed to steal the credit and debit card information (including names, addresses, and phone numbers) associated with more than 70 million customers. My wife (Gina the Gorgeous) was hit by this one. She received a call from a company in North Carolina asking if we had really ordered a super-large screen TV on her credit card. Of course we hadn’t. The main thing that had alerted them was the fact that the delivery address was to another state. Based on this, Gina ended up swapping out all of her credit and debit cards, which is a frustrating and time-consuming exercise.

Meanwhile, in 2014, I was informed that hackers had managed to access tens of millions of records from my health insurance company. I'm still waiting for the axe to fall from that one (we can only hope that I'm insured against axe-related incidents).

The reason for my rambling on about this here is that, whilst driving to work this morning, I heard a report on the National Public Radio (NPR) that hackers have just posted the data they stole from a company/website called Ashley Madison.

The report said that the ~10 gigabyte data dump was posted to the Dark Web using an Onion Address which is accessible only via a Tor Browser. Fortunately, I recently read Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse: Safer Computing Tips for Small Business Managers and Everyday People by Max Nomad (no relation), so I can now parse statements containing terms like “Dark Web,” “Onion Address,” and “Tor Browser” without thinking (which is, of course, my usual modus operandi ).

To read the rest of this article, visit EBN sister site EE Times.

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2 comments on “Cyber Insecurity

  1. Ariella
    August 19, 2015

    Those of us who are Terry Pratchett fans are already familiar with the potential downside to “Interesting Times.”

  2. Max The Magnificent
    August 20, 2015

    @Ariella: Those of us who are Terry Pratchett fans

    And who amongst us isn't?

     

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