Friday, February 20, 2015

I just wanna live while I'm alive

Bon Jovi’s single "It's my life" was released on May 23, 2000. Its chorus said "I just wanna live while I’m alive", which was an allegory of the story of the single itself. It was an example of how put rock back at top lists in many countries so young people could enjoy it.

"It's my life" was the voice of a society that demanded a change, adaptation to the new technological environment more connected than ever. Cybersecurity, Internet and computer security began to be valuable. Now Ponemon analyzed this fields in detail. The average cost of cybercrime increased by 96% in 2014 compared to its first study, conducted just five years ago. The world is changing. It's time to live.

In Bon Jovi’s video you cannot see any smartphone. They did not even exist at the time. Just over a decade later, they are essential to understand the technology ecosystem nowadays. A collaboration between INCIBE and Hispasec has resulted in a report on malware for Android devices, which is the market leader and one of the most attacked systems today.

Websites at the time, despite what was shown in the video, were almost unable to deliver good quality audiovisual content. Today, the websites have evolved so much that they manage multiple third-party services simultaneously loaded to improve usability and features. But they are also attack vectors used by the crime industry. The website of famous British chef Jamie Oliver fell victim of an attack. Criminals used iframe redirection to lead visitors to another website, where malware was ready to be installed. It was a big problem indeed since it has around 10 million visitors.

"It's my life / And it's now or never / I ain't gonna live forever." Well, if you want to work involved with  computer security, you better be up to date with industry trends. Python language, forensics, online reputation and incident response are rising areas. There are also some qualifications in offensive security and specialized training for anyone who is eager to work in security.

In 2000 we suspected that intelligence agencies did not really respect privacy. Today there are some evidences of this. The NSA is making headlines again for having allegedly collaborated with the British GCHQ to allow the two agencies to carry out surveillance on mobile communications since they knew the encryption codes of SIM cards from the world's largest producer. If actually they are able to perform such attacks, they would not even need to ask permission to telecoms in order to access any account’s history, and they could perform systematic eavesdropping.

Bon Jovi's rebel song came at the right time, reliving successes from the eighties, and making it clear that "old rockers never die". Nowadays, the TOR network, considered the anonymous communications pillar of the last decade, seems to be going through a tough time. As a consequence, some alternatives are beginning to show up. For example, I2P network, which is not that exactly new, increased its popularity due to it  relies on an apparently more anonymous system... and less sustainable one.

To the tune of "It's My Life" we said goodbye. But we will return tomorrow with many more stories. "Don't bend, don't break / baby, don't back down."

"It’s (your) life!"


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