Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tell me where you are

Tell me where you are and I will tell you who your friends are. If you think about it, is not completely obvious, but this statement may have some truth.

In fact, this is the main motivation for the massive collection of geolocation data gathered by the NSA. U.S. National Security Agency collects no less than 5,000 million location records of mobile devices outside its borders a day. They argue that it is legal and that allows them to track targets and find hidden relationships with other individuals.

It is precisely the NSA’s non-transparent practices what has led users require Internet companies to make a greater effort to preserve their privacy. In recent weeks, many of them like Google, Mozilla, Twitter, Facebook and Yahoo have announced different security measures in order to avoid any illegal extraction of user’s data by anyone.

However, many users may have even more concerns about the leak of almost two million Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo usernames and passwords that have been found in a Pony Botnet controller server. Or about the hacking of the Slovak online gaming community Pixel Federation which has led to 38,000 account credentials leaked.

In the business world, there are also some threats. Those become even stronger when there is a lack of  policies to control where the information in company’s network come from. In this sense, 9 out of 10 companies do not know the origin of the data and therefore they find it more difficult to discover what the origin of the attacks is.

Finally, we bring you the sad story of hacktivist Aaron Swartz. The video that triggered his arrest has been just released. It shows how Aaron step into a closet where he presumably hacked MIT network to collect paying documents that this institution provided to its students for free and upload them to the cloud. Swartz took his own life some days before his trial in which he faced seven years of prison.


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