Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Great Dictator, the Great Hacker

"Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost..." 'The Great Dictator'. Charles Chaplin. 1940. This is one of the most vibrant, emotional and immortal speeches in the history of cinema .

Would we have been able to watch this movie if criminals paid by Germany had put on its knees the entire film industry in the World War? In fact, it seems that something similar happened with Sony Pictures, after getting hacked by cyber crooks. The group is apparently funded by North Korea and managed that the company cancelled the release of ‘The Interview’, a political comedy that makes fun of Kim Jong-Un. Just like the immortal Chaplin did with his story about the human aberration that Adolf Hitler meant.

Well, actually the Sony’s case could mean nothing if compared with the risk of putting into question the hole Internet’s landscape. The ICANN has been hacked. Let's put it another way: attackers have entered into the database that makes Internet possible. As you can see, they have not broken the network so far. But any day...

The question blowing in the air is whether it is a victory of cyber terrorism, or the new "normality" we must learn to live with. If you do not want them hurt you, do not provoke them. And, indirectly, the question is: who should take care your security against bad boys? The Spanish researcher Chema Alonso raise this question on his last post about the guarantee of privacy and protocols that can be imposed by Google. Is it philanthropic or commercial interest? Is it legitimate or not? Who should take care of privacy?

The bad guys are there, constantly looking for any vulnerability. The dangers of the Internet of Things (IoT) have been widely discussed, but it seems that major manufacturers are still not concerned about them. The security analyst and CIGTR’s contributor Pablo Fernández Iglesias has focused on the security of a smartwatch paired with an smartphone. It depends on a 6-digit PIN and clear communications. So your life is reachable for everyone.

So, it is not easy for consumers to completely rely on what they do online. A recent study published on Net Security calls things by their name when it says that only 1 out of 100 consumers are (really) confident about the purchases they make with their mobile devices. And they are not any service provider, but intermediaries like Apple Pay or Google Wallet.

And yet, we learn to impose common sense every day  as the first and essential security barrier. You can not eliminate risk, but you can limit its consequences. The starting point is the weakest link, the user. Security Innovation has published a two-minute video on which it reviews the "season basics" in order to minimize the impact of malware. Nothing new, but necessary anyway.


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