Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Double-edged Fame

"A sign that is worn own fame is taking care of the infamy of others" (Baltasar Gracian, Spanish writer). Is it enough infamy to have 15,273 negative votes (and growing up) on YouTube? And what if your name is Keith Alexander and you are about to leave one of the institutions that today are in the spotlight?

Well that's the number of "dislikes" accumulated by almost outgoing director of the NSA, in an interview published in the audiovisual channel by the U.S. Defense Department, and conducted by one of its journalists star, Jessica L. Tozer: "Sarcasm. Science fiction. Games. Geek staff" she says in her Twitter profile @JLTozer.

But we must also note that while NSA gets all the blame, others are getting away with exactly the same thing. We mean: Russia itself. In the last G20 meeting its intelligence was distributing flash drives with malware designed to steal information. It raises two questions: first, those delegates accepting such a poisoned gift are certainly unprepared; second, did the authors of the idea really think that they were going away scot-free?

The great debate that the Snowden issue has put on the table is privacy. Is it possible the anonymity on the web? Anyone is able to secure a noninvasive online experience? Are they both compatible? Splitting hairs, RSA Conference Chairman, Art Coviello, draws an explosive headline in his opening event keynote: "Anonymity is the Enemy of Privacy." Jumping from event to event, and staying at the safe online experience, Net Security echoes of one talk during the last DefCon, which reveals how a technology as obsolete as the phone can pose a problem for many companies more serious than the malware. How is it? Combining it with social engineering techniques.

You can also qualify as real engineering to generate easy money, the last operation of phishing that uses the American Express Company. A clean message with a credible link that silently injected Javascript code and ends asking the user credentials, everything seemingly in safe navigation. Watch out where you click. It’s always better to prevent. The next step is infection: the latest Adobe security breach reported that 3 million customers exposed data. Well, they are not so many, they are even more: up to 38 million, as just has revealed the prestigious journalist Brian Krebs. When something like this happens, you must treat that others infamy is not excessive, or you will spend your own fame.


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