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The Cyberwar is Coming

// Posted by on 05/28/2015 (4:20 PM)

 

I found the articles we read for this assignment to be particularly fascinating and thought-provoking. In all of my climate-related classes, research, and study, water and water resources are often cited as the likely catalysts for… Read more

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I found the articles we read for this assignment to be particularly fascinating and thought-provoking. In all of my climate-related classes, research, and study, water and water resources are often cited as the likely catalysts for the next great wars, and their arguments are all terribly logical and believable. The experts all say that we’re starting to see signs of this now. For example, “last summer, Isis accused the Turkish government in Ankara, headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of deliberately holding back the Euphrates through a series of dams on its territory, lowering water levels in Lake Assad by a record six metres. Isis was apoplectic.”

However, after reading “How Digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet, the Most Menacing Malware in History,” I really started thinking that maybe wars over water will be undermined by directed malware wars. With Stuxnet, as noted in “The Code War,” the way it worked was “not unlike the enriched uranium the Iranians were working on, but in software form: expensive, highly refined munitions that formed the core of an extremely sophisticated weapons system.”

Attacks like these could very well lead to the next great wars. They are “unobtrusive, can be constant, and they’re invasive. “As the reading shows, these attacks have already started. If Iran had retaliated, or retaliates, what will it look like? Developers designed malware with the ability to tap into Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and alter the speed at which they work. What’s keeping someone or a government from exploiting that ability to an apocalyptic end? Why not? If we can, we should, right? If malware this mischievous can be created and unleashed it in the name of data gathering, sabotage, spying, whatever – and something goes wrong, what kind of collateral damage will there be? As we read, with Stuxnet, there were some friendly fire (assuming that there were some infections in the country(ies) responsible for the attack) accidents. Computers worldwide were infected – even some in the US. “The victims bleed personal data and intellectual property.”

What sectors in the US have unique vulnerabilities like the one exploited in Iran? Likely a lot! Everything is automated these days. Everything is a computer or has a computer. Even the business card dropped off by a bulk water sales rep today had a computer in it.

The image doesn’t do it justice, so here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlayQjxDm0I&feature=youtu.be

Could Diamond Springs unleash malware into this guy’s business card and sabotage his operation? It has a USB port. This item likely has a variety of weaknesses.

Additionally, should the U.S. be using these methods for domestic data gathering? Whether or not they should be, they do. In the example laid out in “The Code War,” with Freedom Hosting, they acquired a warrant and implanted surveillance software.  In doing so, broke up a huge child pornography operation. This is good. However, if the FBI, CIA, NSA, ABCDEFG want to do the same to my computer because I visited a site of an organization critical of the American government, is that right? No. To answer my above question, no, just because we can doesn’t mean we should. These attacks aren’t going anywhere. In fact, Edward Snowden reveled that “the NSA budget included $25.1 million for “additional covert purchases of software vulnerabilities,” suggesting that they both buy zero-days and roll out their own internally.”


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Week One- My perceptions of the internet

// Posted by on 05/14/2015 (10:38 PM)

Call me old school but I have always been very leery of the internet. I apologize upfront for so many questions but I just had to get it all out!  I very recently started to shop online and that was afterRead more

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Call me old school but I have always been very leery of the internet. I apologize upfront for so many questions but I just had to get it all out!  I very recently started to shop online and that was after someone in another class said “it doesn’t matter how careful you are, your information is not totally protected”.  You may be online displaying your personal information to “grabbers” without even knowing it.  Who are these grabbers and what are they doing with all the information they capture?  Where is it store?  Are people in third world countries checking the sites that I visit?  Why is China afraid of Google? 

Other than for my works “intranet” (we have our own very secure servers that were victims of a cyber-attack a few months ago), I would rarely log onto the internet for personal reasons.  Like Kaitlyn, I use Google and occasionally MapQuest.   I do not use Facebook or other social media regularly.  I only created a Facebook account under pressure from friends but then they wanted to know why I didn’t post pictures and ‘like’ them.  So I just ignore it.  I used to get a lot of emails from my Facebook account alerting me when someone I knew added a post or new photos.  I guess it got tired of me ignoring the emails and it stopped but how did they know I hadn’t been signing in?  When I text, access Google or respond to email (ok, mostly delete email) who is responsible for capturing my movement and who gave them permission?

I think that the person(s) who has the most data has the most control!  We are being dragged around like a drunken sailor by marketing ploys, pop-ups and suggestive emails but should we care? Do the benefits out way the negatives? 

In class, the question was asked “is the internet a physical place?”  It is a physical place and I don’t think the place is Silicon Valley.  It is a real place where so much data is being captured, stored, analyzed and predicting our next move.  It is a place where we communicate and where we can choose cannot be connected.  It is creating historical data flows and timelines.  

Rules of engagement- Please do not put multiple due dates for information as that can become a overwhelming and I am a slow reader.  100 to 300 words is a good word count.  I like Discussion Board but Blog is also a good way to communicate.

  


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Response to Tec: The Regulation of the Internet

// Posted by on 02/21/2014 (3:07 PM)

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The Other Side of a Non-Bureaucratic Internet

// Posted by on 01/28/2014 (1:10 PM)

A common thread throughout “From Counterculture to Cyberculture” is the idea of technology and the Internet creating a world in which bureaucracy can be overthrown and social order is based on the users.  While the upsides of this are clear—the… Read more

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A common thread throughout “From Counterculture to Cyberculture” is the idea of technology and the Internet creating a world in which bureaucracy can be overthrown and social order is based on the users.  While the upsides of this are clear—the ability to communicate with people across the world through different chat rooms with no restrictions, an endless supply of information at your disposal at all times and even more, there are also other aspects we should consider.

With this idea of social order being based on us users we can look at the different implications this has had.  Nowadays as we surf the web—shopping, researching different topics, reading articles, whatever it is we do, we have cookies tracing our every move.  What we do on the Internet is being watched by someone, somewhere and often being used for others’ advantage.  Any website you access having your information and the ability to capitalize on it can be a scary thought to many of us but should something be done?

There is a dilemma created here because of our view of the Internet as a free market.  Advertisers and cookie users alike defend themselves by claiming that putting restrictions on such behavior on the web would eliminate this monumental idea of the bureaucracy-free Internet.  The Internet is said to be a place of self-regulation, a place always expanding where regulations would be minimally helpful in a world dominated by hackers and technological geniuses.

The real debate here is whether we are willing to let these companies capitalize on our habits and interests.  It seems harmless to a lot of us, these companies are just using this to tailor to our interests.  So what if an ad for a retail store trying to sell me dresses pops up right after I was previously looking for exactly that?  Honestly, it’s convenient a lot of the time.  I personally don’t see much harm in the process but this whole lack of security may be troubling to others.

With this problem and more and more store’s records being hacked for credit card and identity information the Internet seems to becoming less safe by the day.  So while this social order encompassing all users and lacking effective regulation may not provide for the ideal Internet as describe by so many of the New Communalists and progressive technological thinkers.

 

You can read more about the debate of advertisement tracking here:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/02/im-being-followed-how-google-151-and-104-other-companies-151-are-tracking-me-on-the-web/253758/


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