World War Cyber War is Here!

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World at War CyberTerror
Cyber War World War! Cyber Terror is Here!

We are all under attack!

Here we are in the twenty first century and we live in a great age of new technology. The computer age is upon us and is dominating every facet of our existence. Most of us are highly dependent on our IPhones, or Androids, or Samsungs, or Nokias, that is while we’re away from our main computers at home. And when we are away from them, we are usually at our internet enabled television sets, or when we are away from them, we are our game consoles playing our favorite game, or watching the newest movie. When we are away from all the above, we are sleeping, and usually are not plugged in. But give Google, or Microsoft, or Apple a few more chances and before long we will be wired even while we’re sleeping! However, when we sleep we sometimes see beautiful dreams, but at other times we are liable to see a nightmare. Well, our new found technological bliss is slowly turning into a nightmare in a waking state.

We are at war! And it’s the most general kind of war. It’s a world war Cyber War! My own website is being constantly attacked, I have had two separate break ins, and in fact one guy made himself, or herself an administrator to my own website. Fortunately whoever it was they did not delete my files, or I would not be writing this. However, one thing is very clear to me, nowhere, and no one is safe. For all the money we spend on anti-virus programs and all this extra protection, and all the annoying updates the one truth is that we really can’t protect ourselves from all attacks. Even Norton has to admit that in order to get the worst infestations out, we need their Super Duper Extra Scooper(downloaded separately)  which is supposedly able to erase “even the most deeply embedded viruses” according to them, as well as quite possibly most of your own material on occasion. The reality is that there is no out of the box solution to the Cyber warfare we are exposed to. Indeed of late I have become convinced that all these security companies offer little more but their assurances, and a feeling of well being while in reality they know, and we should know that we are never really safe no matter what they all claim.  Thus we are in reality at the mercy of anyone who wants to compromise our security. But now things are actually worse than they were even a few years ago.

You see, today,  we are in the middle of a world war cyber war.  This war has a number of players. These would be individual hackers from various nations, some criminals, some fancy themselves as do-gooders destroying what they see as a menace to society i.e. Computers, and others are actually soldiers, and secret agents. Yes soldiers and agents working for various governments. You see the United States leadership in its infinite wisdom unleashed a number of spy programs against everyone it saw as a possible threat to its most cherished asset, i.e. the one percent. And in so doing started to spy on everyone, including our allies, and their leaders. A woefully brilliant move if we may say so. The United States spied on France, Germany, Britain, and many more who were supposed to be our allies.  Well no matter what they may have said publicly, there is no doubt that privately they were outraged, or probably just en-raged. They would no doubt respond in kind, eventually.

Of course we had been both spying -and undermining- our enemies systems, like China’s, Russia’s, Iran’s and others all over the world. This does not yet include the mention of corporate spying, much of it with the blessings of the US government. Thus, in the creation of the Global Economy, we also laid down the foundation for World War by daring to undermine the network systems of our fellow Global “partners”.

Then, of course, the NSA scandal broke out where we found out that we, America’s own citizens, are being spied on by our own government and that companies like Yahoo, Google, and Apple and Microsoft are well infested with all kinds of spy bugs whose sole purpose is to keep track of our own interests, and actions on the web. Add to this the I.R.S. scandal, where the I.R.S. went after the ultra conservative tea party for no other reason than its political opinion, and you have a disaster! We, who use computers every day, almost every hour of the day and night, have enemies under just about every mouse click, or screen swipe, or voice command we make! And the Cyber warriors are not at all shy about going after innocent people. In fact, between the soldiers and the criminals, the agents, the ad-agencies,  and our own governments we can safely say that we are the main target of all this Cyber Warfare! We the individual innocent computer users who have done nothing to deserve all this.

Bleeding Heart Virus

Today, a new bug made its way into the global scene and some say it could be a big one. The so called “Bleeding Hear” virus has infiltrated Tumblr and has compromised not only Tumblr, but its users entire array of defenses. Apparently the Bleeding Heart Virus is now able to compromise all networks connected to the original site compromised. This would mean that anyone connected to Tumblr would be compromised as well. So if they get in to Tumblr they can get into any other site you have connected to Tumblr. Including Facebook, or Twitter, or Yahoo. So it would seem. But in reality it may not be that serious since most large corporations do not use OpenSSL because it is Open Source meaning that anyone can work on it. Most will hire other security corporations to handle their security needs and so whatever the Bleeding heart virus may do, it probably will not be bad enough to disable the internet. Although, the truth is that we are on our way to that event.

The fact is that without real cooperation between governments, and between corporations a safe global internet can never happen. The problem we have is that there are too separate standards doing too many things any way they want to.  There are too many corporations writing their own version of the software wheel and it has become so that there is no way to regulate any of these under the present structure. One day Microsoft writes its own language, the next Apple writes its own language and so there is little in the form of a standard which might be used to secure the internet. Unfortunately without a universal standard there is no way to enforce strict rules and security protocol. In order for one company to lay claim to another’s customer, they need to drop their security levels and this is an opening that any hacker can fit right through with little effort.  In fact the Hackers have their own websites and are able to freely communicate with one another. Hackers  may well have more cooperation among themselves, than do Microsoft, Google, and Apple when it comes to security.

No Password is Safe

While the large tech companies try to increase their bottom line, they in effect leave the rest of us open to compromise. Our own governments have failed to set a standard of privacy in their dealings with individual citizens,  much less take an interest in enforcing a strong security standard among corporations.  Any information you give to the internet is in effect going to be available to the world at large and this no matter what the data may be. People are lulled into thinking that their passwords actually protect them from invaders, but this is an illusion. No password is safe because of the way it is kept at the location where the user signs on.

The fact is that any encrypted password will ultimately fail since the encryption needs only the original formula to crack. That is all you need is to know how something was encrypted originally in order to reverse encrypt, or decrypt the password. With so many loopholes set up for the purpose of getting to your cash and mine it is eventually going to be possible for someone to break in at some level and eventually decrypt any passwords on any site or any computer that is linked to the internet. The only possible protection is a standard that in essence restricts the way in or the way out of any secure location. This cannot be done unless it is in effect ordered from the top down.

The reality is that if someone wants to get into your computer or your phone, or your game system, or your internet ready television set, or game console, they can! It’s just a matter of time and effort on their part. Yet, this could be prevented if a standard official security protocol were to be required. Only no one is playing that game, not even our government which has time and again used internet vulnerabilities to compromise the privacy of anyone it sees fit for the task; this has included diplomats, government leaders, and of course the average person time and again. If the government itself is violating our privacy, who would ever expect them to enforce a standard security system?

Does the Government want a Secure Internet?

If our government says it needs to spy on us in order to “prevent terrorism” they would have no motive to ensure a more secure internet. Having a weak internet security protocol  makes the job of the Federal Agent a lot easier since they can use the same vulnerabilities as the ordinary criminal hacker. So why would the government ever demand of corporations to tighten their security? The product that Microsoft makes, or Google, or Apple is by design left open to intrusion for one reason or other. Just as Norton for example will have left itself the ability to “fix your computer remotely” so too might any company that sells you a piece of software on your machine. If the government doesn’t care to enforce a standard of privacy for its own ulterior motives, then what chance does an individual consumer have to secure their own privacy?

We now find ourselves in a world war as just about everyone who was ever attacked by our government’s agencies is now attacking us. The Chinese and Russians, the “terrorists” and the anarchists have made it no secret that they will attempt to compromise any computer system that is in their eyes a “threat” to their own security. That’s fine and dandy, but where does that leave us, the individual, the innocent person who has nothing to do with any of these games that all these entities are playing? The short answer: nowhere. We are here to be eaten by anyone out there who thinks we just might taste good. At the very least I am not going to lie. The reality is that we are never safe.

Can anything be done to keep us safe in the meantime?

However, changing your password often, making it very long including keystrokes like ‘*’ and ‘(‘ or ‘= ‘ with numbers might delay an attacker, or make it harder for them. Making certain that your accounts are well kept, especially since all the tech companies now insist that your account be linked to the internet is a possible obstacle to an intruder as well.  Keeping the number of accounts you have to a minimum and not publicizing them will also help. You should always have complex user names, and never tell anyone what your user name is if you don’t have to. Giving your email address to only trusted sources is another must. Running virus scans from more than one company might also help. For example if you use Norton, then you should also, on occasion use another company to scan for viruses. Sometimes hackers find ways to avoid detection from one company but not from all. So it’s a good idea to sometimes use secondary software to clean up your drives. And of course always keep your software up to date with security updates. For as long as your software maker produces them. Can you trust your software company? Only to an extent. A company is only as good as it’s employee. If an employee decides to compromise your computer off work, there is little your software manufacturer can do about that so even then, keep your computer private as can be, even from your software manufacturer, even from your security provider.

But for all that, we are all vulnerable. Unless the world gets together to stop these intrusions into our privacy by setting tough standards of transaction, there is really no help for it. A word of warning to those engaging in these acts. Sooner or later retribution is going to rear its ugly head. If governments do nothing to stop this, it will only escalate, and there is no telling where that might lead us all to. We can potentially go from Cyber War, to real War.

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