Apr 1, 2010

Hacktivism: Warfare 2.0

Funny how reality catches up.

Three weeks ago, I wrote two advertorials on internet security for TODAY, it focused on how malware, adware, all the bad-ware worms their way into our computers and leaves the door open for criminals and bad people.

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It includes governments as well.

In today’s news, Google’s engineers stumbled upon malware that “has been used to spy on Vietnamese computer users opposed to a controversial bauxite mine”:

Google engineer Neel Mehta wrote in the posting, "these attacks have tried to squelch opposition to bauxite mining efforts in Vietnam, an important and emotionally charged issue in the country."

Sources: Vietnamese speakers targeted in Cyberattack | McAfee’s blog post

This is what security folk term as “hacktivism and politically motivated cyberattacks” where hackers deface or bug websites to promote their ideology…or control information.

When it happens, I think of bombs.

Tick tock charges that decapitate and drag you to “die for my <insert worthless cause>!” But hacktivism is a lot quieter; electron text moans and giggles :) replace the BOOMs and the BANGs of bombs.  And I’m appalled at how easily and quickly the information superhighway is rapidly trolled by toll booths, detours and dead end(er)s.

Despite having spent four years learning bits and bytes, this is a new fight to me. One that I’m not equipped to win. What can we do? Install the latest McAfee? Pull out from the internet? Set Nannywatcher to filter out bad words like “hacktivism, or cyber attacks”?

What say you?



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