I wanted to provide some context to the somewhat mysterious and generally misunderstood craft of hacking. One of the reasons most consumers don’t understand the depth of the attacks is due to the complexity in explaining how it happens. In our 30 second sound byte world, there is not enough time to get through to most consumers before having to ADHD off the topic. Because of this, we only receive high level consumer filtered information.
For example, we might hear a story about Target Corp. or Home Depot being hacked and losing 100M cards but we are only offered a useless consumer product like Life Lock or some ridiculous check your credit score site to monitor your credit. This inability to understand followed by ignorant belief in yet another consumer product is why we lose personal data every second of everyday. If these products worked, why wouldn’t Target and Home Depot have used them to protect their customers stored data?
Im going to over play the below section just a bit to drive home the truth so give me some extra leash if you are one like me who lives in the ones and zeros world.
ALL CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS HAVE BEEN CRIMINALLY EXPOSED
This game began way back on 2004 with a series of breaches on credit card processors- the companies who sit between the swipe and your bank. Kind of the traffic cops of billions of swipes directing that traffic to the banks for payment. We only are told of the big ones like Target and Home Depot although those entities are not truly processors. In the background and everyday of the week, thousands of merchants (stores) are hemorrhaging card data.
THE COUNTRY RESPONSIBLE FOR MONETIZING THE STOLEN CARDS? THE UNITED STATES
What? Imagine a website that was accessible by anyone where you could buy a stolen credit card with a guaranteed available credit of ten times the purchase price. Yes this is illegal but has that ever stopped anything? As banks track the fraud spend of cards that haven been determined to be at risk, the vast majority are criminally swiped inside the United States. So we lose our citizens credit cards and then spend them? Apparently.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS?
Not anymore. Sure the Balkans, the Chinese, Vietnam, Russia, are all in the mix but the playing field is diversifying as the ability for planet earth to secure itself with technology is miles behind the vulnerabilities in the same technology. Tuesdays cyber defense deployment for any company is not equipped on Wednesday to handle the new threats that have evolved in the 24 hours that have passed. This is quite revealing in the micro margins our economy is having to deal with. Even the largest companies in America and that includes banks, are “bean counting” the capital expenditures into cyber defenses to reflect “a reasonable effort” generally benchmarked off an illegitimate standard across similarly sized corporations. If it costs $150M to strengthen infrastructure and protect your data but an “event” like Target/Home Depot only costs $50M, the answer is maniacally simple. Any fourteen year old gamer from middle-America with an interest in coding can annihilate a firewall at will. Teams of state sponsored hackers with nuclear malware managed by hopeless nations like North Korea are in the mix. American kids are on these teams.
EVERY HOME COMPUTER IS INFECTED WITH MALWARE.
Remember, your antivirus is working perfectly. it’s catching all the spyware, adware and low end spam. Meanwhile, without detection, big boy malware is running your files at will looking only for username and password combinations, number sequences that are your credit-debit cards and just before it auto vanishes from your home network it installs a key logger to record every key you touch and send it to a server they control for permanent, wholly invasive storage. Oh, I almost forgot, all your stored pictures are gone also, yes, even if you stored them in the cloud…
EVERY USERNAME AND PASSWORD COMBINATION IS GONE.
But I just changed mine? Remember the key logger? Didn’t you just have to, “re-enter your new password”?
SHOULD I CARE?
Good question. The problem with caring s you have no control over the cyber environment. Care all day long but unless you operate at the level of the coder, your digital existence is without exception, being memorized.
ALL ANDROID SYSTEMS BREACHED
Don’t even respond, that ship sailed years ago.
IOS STILL SOMEWHAT INTACT BUT THE CLOUD IS NOT
So, enjoy the last days before all is gone in the Apple world as well.
TWO KINDS OF CODERS: FINANCIAL AND KINETIC
Financial groups love to spend your banks money. Your bank loves to raise costs, fees and interest rates.
Kinetic groups love to cripple infrastructure like nuclear power plants and power grids. We will soon forget about the financial groups.