Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Raiders of good use of Internet

"US and its satellites kill our brothers in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan we broke into your networks and personal devices and know everything about you. [...] We won't stop! We know everything about you, your wives and children. US soldiers! We're watching you!" ISIS terrorist group recently appealed to "Cyber ​​Caliphate" in social networks by these collection of tweets.


But they wouldn’t have made so many headlines if these tweets had not been dropped on the American Command Center (CENTCOM) Twitter account. In fact, this Twitter account was embarrassingly hacked a few hours ago. Along with the appeal, the hackers also published several documents with supposedly private data of the army personnel. Nevertheless it did not take so long to prove that they had been obtained from public sources in spite of the agency’s private computers.

This is something that could happen to anyone. Any mistake is enough for a cyber attacker to seize your social profiles. But the headline of the day it is a statement by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, in response to the attack on the cartoonists and editors of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo: “In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which […] we cannot read?” His objective would be the prohibition of communication encryption protocols, so British intelligence agencies had no obstacles in the fight against terrorism...

Times change for both good and bad guys. Popular Internet black market Silk Road has reborn, not on the TOR network as it would be usual, but on I2P, which is a not so well- known network managed directly under P2P (users are also communication nodes).

Precisely what Spanish electronic ID system need is users. NOwadays hardly anyone uses it because its use is complicated, time consuming and requires a specific reader. Hopefully the new Spanish electronic ID released yesterday will change the situation. This time it includes a NFC chip for communication, making it much easier to use. Although it also reopens the debate on its possible security implications, using an easily manipulable protocol as discussed a few months ago regarding free recharges of Chilean BIP transport card.

Well, we will have a more digital national identification system in Spain, but the problem will remain the same. Most users are unaware of the operation of these systems and their associated dangers, particularly when conducting online transactions. One of the latest surveys by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International found that one third of Spanish users still don’t take basic necessary measures for banking transactions, endangering not only their statements, but the bank itself. The belief that cybercrime only affects personalities or corporations accounts for 13% of respondents, who answered this in order to defend their usual carelessness.

Moreover taking into consideration that 31% of smartphones and 41% of tablets do not have security measures installed and active, it seems prudent to check the Basic Guide on Privacy, Anonymity and Digital Self Defense for Dummies, published by HacksturLab. This PDF covers some of the most useful tools to cope with IT risks, and become aware of proper use of Internet.

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