Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Forever Friends

131029 Amigos postOne of the best known sentences by American singer Bruce Springsteen is that "friendship keeps you from slipping into the abyss". Perhaps in these times we would have to rewrite the sentence and replace by "indiscriminate Facebook friendship can take you into the abyss". 12 out of 100 netizens acknowledge having ever suffered the kidnapping of a social account. The "yes to all", including requests for friendship, is often behind these incidents.

"Do not accept friendship from random users", assets Pierluigi Paganini in his last post about social networking security. It is not the only statement, and almost all are built on negative: do NOT click on shortened links whose source you don’t trust, do NOT enter your password into a URL that does not match the social network, do NOT share your location, do NOT , do NOT, do NOT...

Sure it would NOT matter us a lot, since they are no more than the basics of online security, if not because Barack Obama himself partly has suffered Twitter and Facebook kidnapping. It was only a few hours, but there is the medal for the Syrian Electronic Army, which also gives a technique and perfectly transparent explanation of how they came to commit URL shorteners used by the White House team, which is what they really hacked.

However, Obama's biggest concern these days is not that, but the continued outbreak of spying scandals on governments of the Atlantic Alliance. For now, the governmental line is that Obama knew rather little of this "intelligence mess", and if he would know, he would have stopped it, because it is meaningless to spy on friendly nations. The "enemies"... well, the enemies have got spy tactics that sometimes roam the improbable: may someone imagine a cuppa sending data via integrated chips that use our WiFi vulnerabilites? Well, it is happening, and it appears, with the support of Chinese espionage.

Big Data Fever? For a large majority of people, security is more in their day to day than in those big power struggles. It’s in things like saving money from robbery. OK, that’s also for them: the ATM specialized malware Plutous, which began in Mexico, has "mutated" into English-spoken. It’s not enough to defeat malware once, we must do it again and again, and this is an arduous task. Whether cash or mobile phones, which is precisely the object of study of a new whitepaper by Help Net Security: "Top mobile applications security threats". The applications are like friends: if you choose then well, you will prevent falling into the abyss, otherwise they will push you.

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