Thursday, January 29, 2015

Privacy and perception of security on the Internet

Yesterday was the World Privacy Day (#PrivacyDay), a way to remind everyone of the importance of protecting his digital assets. It is also a call to both businesses and governments towards a more fair and accessible Internet.


Moreover it was the day chosen by specialist security researcher Markt Dowd to reveal one of his latest discoveries: A critical vulnerability in Silent Text messaging service which allows an attacker to remotely access the chat history and contacts stored on the device. This announcement allowed the company engineers to patch it almost immediately. Nevertheless this case raises doubts on a suite specifically designed for an specific gadget like the Blackphone.

PGP is a program for public key encryption which is regarded as "a problem" by the NSA agency. Its creator, Phil Zimmermann, is also behind Silent Text and Blackphone development. Taking advantage of the World Privacy Day, Javier Pastor interviewed him for Xataka. He talked about prospects for future issues regarding government control, digital privacy and security of communications.

In the Cisco 2015 Annual Security Report, it is brought out that 90% of users believe they are safe while 60% of them do not take basic security measures. It is an encouraging outlook for the industry of crime indeed. In fact, cyber criminals keep using techniques that should have been eradicated years ago. This represents a real challenge for the technology industry that requires tools running under secure protocols. And finally, it is a serious problem for users who lack training.

However if you focus on cloud services figures alone are even more staggering. The latest Cloud Adoption and Risk Report by Skyhigh Cloud Networks provides some clues. At corporate level, 33% of companies surveyed positively opt to use cloud servicies, while 41% of them are still undecided. In addition, 72% of workers who already use these services in daily basis do not usually comply with corporate security instructions, obviously unaware of its possible consequences.

The best example of that is phishing campaigns that hit thousands of new victims week by week. Among phishing strategies, you may find the obfuscation of the actual URL, which allows cybercriminals to avoid being noticed by their victims. There are up to seven different ways to hide the actual address of a link sent you by someone on Twitter or by email.

In the end, Internet is simply a digital extension of human relationships. However on the World Privacy Day, remember that there is reason to celebrate, as demonstrated by the infographic on the 10 milestones in the history of privacy released by ESET. The following video by Mozilla also follows such direction.

Enjoy it!

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