Thursday, November 13, 2014

Happy endings in the digital world

“They lived happily ever after.” Many of children's stories ends with this words. But in Spanish they have another end line that literally translated says “they lived happily and ate partridges.” Actually partridges have several positive connotations as a gastronomic delicacy. In the Middle Ages, only wealthy people could eat partridges. Thus, it implied that the characters would have enjoyed a full life, both at emotional and socio-economic levels. The story ended in a good way, and left you a good taste in your mouth.

However real world is not so simple. Life is a collection of experiences, some of them are positive and some negative. Depending on how you confront them you can consider yourself successful or not. Nevertheless some other stories have a clearly happy ending. Onymous was a joint operation by Spanish Guardia Civil along with Eurojust and the New York Office that has ended up with 17 people associated with clandestine activities in the Deep Web in court. In addition, they have managed o close up to 410 services hosted on the TOR network.

Our knights in shining armor are security experts who come from both major antivirus firms and law enforcement. The first of them let us know how Korplug infected its victims. It used different phishing campaigns targeting several government personalities with infected word documents and other malicious files.

Windows is again the reign of criminals due to the discovery of a new vulnerability affecting all its versions. It allows villains to accept malicious packets via FTP or WEB ports. The encrypted communications system SChannel implemented by Microsoft seems to be the murder weapon. But you are not alone in this epic battle, as the boys from Redmond have built walls for your protection.

Stories have been used for generations to explain in an entertaining way what the ethical principles that govern our society are. You have to do good not because it is right, but because it is necessary for collective survival. If the bad guys launched BlackSEO campaigns to position fraudulent drugs on the market, there will be good boys who to develop search engines and automated analysis tools to bring to light the malicious increasingly complex strategies. If someone decides to use social media as a weapon, he will have to face social network administrators who will moderate their use, as we recently learnt from a cyberbullying case on Twitter.

When the story ends, good people live happily ever after. Although today many people prefer to take a selfie and upload it to social networks in order to remember a happy story. Watch out all the information you are giving up. Images come with EXIF metadata that would allow to obtain sensitive information from them. Lets work to avoid that a happy ending does not end in the prologue of a tragedy.


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