Saturday, October 4, 2014

'Shakespeare in hack'

What if evil was so widespread that doing evil was something disheartening? Sometimes it is appropriate to draw on the classics, like William Shakespaere, to try to understand the present. "If every day were a vacation, playing would grow as tedious as working" is claimed in the second scene of the first act of his 'Henry IV'

Maybe they are not writing the second part of Henry IV, but researchers at Akamai who have followed the exploits for the Shellshock vulnerability believe that criminals have lost much of the initial interest. In part, because the patches released block the most dangerous possibilities; and partly, too, because many 'amateurs' if not outright "idiots" (so says the text), have decided to exploit the vulnerability as fuzzy goals like opening remote CD players or play audio files who knows from where. It is "bored hackers" who in turn bore the real "hackers". However, the guys at Akamai warn that although interest falls apart, the threat will persist for months if not years, for example in the form of vector to zombie networks (botnets).

Since Shakespeare is our driver context today, let's remember The Merchant of Venice: "But love is blind, and lovers can not see the silly things they do around each other". In the XXI century, many of us feel love to try any new technological device, which blinds us from "silly things" as the terms of license and user agreements. Do not go too far: the trial version of Windows 10 allows Microsoft to take note of everything you can imagine (and even what you can not), about you. Does it enhance the experience? In exchange for what and how much? The issue is thorny and we can read in both Spanish. and English.

Anyway, it is beyond doubt that between what we accept without knowing and what we do not even know that we are accepting to (which is not the same), it is easy for any of us to exclaim any day long wail of Shakespeare's Romeo: "Oh, I am a fortune's fool!". One day we go Reddit from a Mac device, and before we can realize we are part of a botnet. Or maybe you are so gamer that you install an Angry Birds version and it is programmed by some guys, probably as bored or as stupid as those detected by Akamai (see above), whose single mission is to wipe in full your Android. Old-fashioned malware, when the goal was mere nuisance code to hit a single user. Maybe it is that old criminals never die, although this is not a quote from Shakespeare.

To be alert or not to be, that is the question. It's okay if this weekend you read Shakespaere, and it's also good if you read us, here and on our social networks. But mostly it's fine if you avoid the boring, the idiots or the criminals to get things done.

Image source: Wikipedia.


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