By Kurt Knutsson, CyberGuy
Marc Goodman is a security expert whose new book “Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It” is revealing how unsafe our digital lives really are.
The former LAPD officer turned global security advisor’s descriptive and heavily researched security flubs, rip-offs, careless human mistakes and gaping holes in the digital world -from personal security, money to national defense, are leaving us wide open to attack.
More alarming is that the Office of Homeland Security responsible for cyber defenses for the country has little to show for innovating any solutions to address broadly sweeping threats and weaknesses. He writes about then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel admitting in November that the United States is ill-prepared for 21st century warfare. Amongst Sec. Hagel’s concerns in artificial intelligence, asymmetrical cyberwarfare, robotics and 3-D printing.
It should make you uneasy to learn that in 2008 the top-secret design specs for presidential helicopter Marino One were posted and widely available online in a peer-to-peer network in Iran. The culprit was a US military contractor who created an open door to his computer from a music downloading site. It seems like just the tip of the iceberg when each part of the book points out numerous failures including:
- US military servicemen posted photos on Facebook not realizing at the time that the GPS location of the photos revealed their precise location in Iraq. Four new Apache helicopters were destroyed after the photos were posted revealing their location.
- 21 million Americans health records from the Health and Human Services Administration have been breached since 2009.
Details of multiple credit card hacks including Target, TJ Maxx, and the more recent attack on Hollywood studio Sony are just the beginning and many of these catastrophic assaults could have been prevented if people followed more thoughtful measures to reduce their risk to exposure.
Following these tips now can help protect you:
- Password protect your mobile phone (40% people don’t lock their phones)
- Stay vigilant and aware of changes in your Facebook privacy settings
- Keep desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet operating software updated to protect against malware
CyberGuy’s favorite tools for getting rid of malware:
- For PCs, www.bleepingcomputer.com is a solid information source
- For Mac, free ClamXav download will help identify and isolate attackware
Hackers are getting more strategic and crafty in the way they can get to our personal information and critical systems like the FAA air traffic computers. Today, Goodman suspects that 160 million Facebook pages have been hacked daily. His book offers an easily to follow thought process that does an all to good a job exposing how we are very close to a digital disaster.