Friday, January 31, 2014

A bad spark, a bad click

"If it contains only what the Koran says, is useless and must be burned; if it contains something else, is bad, and it is also necessary to burn it." So exhaustively (and cheater), Caliph Omar referred to the Library of Alexandria, a temple of knowledge that refused to go away despite the continuing siege by the "hackers" of that time.

0131ENDisasters in libraries are the paper version of the dreaded security breaches of modern digital times. A bad spark in those equals a bad click in the wrong place today. If you take as true the version maintained by some classical historians (discussed by more contemporary authors) that Julius Caesar was the cause of the fire in the Library of Alexandria that swept away half a million volumes, it would be a equivalent damage to nearly 600 Gb of information. Quite a serious event that was not overcome until the World War II when the Nazis bombed some libraries in Poland.

At least, that is the information that gives us an interesting infographic about the most serious data losses throughout history, apart from information leaks by Edward Snowden, who probably outnumber all the graphics, together. Regarding the NSA, the Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison, proclaimed the inviolability of his company’s servers. He has to be extremely sure for giving such affirmation because currently nobody is in condition of boasting about these issues.

Look at GoDaddy! They begin to recognize that, well, yes, maybe they had something to do in the bloodcurdling and instructive story of Naoki Hiroshima, who lost his highly valued @N twitter account after a soulless digital balaclava took control of his Facebook account, his Paypal and practically his entire life, until he clearly said to Hiroshima: I have your life on my hands, you decide, whether to release your account Twitter, or lose all your data. Who can remember Alexandria when such a threat comes out?

Another example of how risky it is showing-off these days: someone accessed a Yahoo’s server through a backdoor and has force the company to hastily reset passwords of a still undetermined number of users. Apparently it is not Yahoo’s fault, but the service that stored the data’s one. The same way as Target does not seem directly responsible for the massive fraud of weeks ago, but it boils down to the theft of one of its vendors’ credentials.

A wrong click. A little lapse of concentration. A bad spark. Half a million copies destroyed. And a digital life, some savings, or the pride of a company go down to the floor in a second.


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