Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt … or Else …

Could the Stratfor Catastrophe happen to you? Yes.

Only a fool would continue to supply Stratfor (or anybody else) with privileged information.

On March 7 it was announced that the Anonymous group and LulzSec were victims of an inside snitch and were arrested.

My bet: It’s too late for Stratfor to survive since all of their sources have been compromised, embarrassed and many likely fired from their jobs.

The Internet Is the Greatest Crime Venue the World Has Ever Known
Whether you are a giant country like the U.S., a small business like Stratfor Global or a single individual with an email account, every time you go on the Internet, you put yourself at risk. Consider the following:

• The FBI reported that China is in the business of state-sponsored cyber-theft as well as cyber-terrorism with 30,000 military cyber-spies, plus another 150,000 civilian cyber-geeks launching 90,000 attacks a year against the United States that have “the potential to destroy vital infrastructure, interrupt banking and commerce, and compromise sensitive military and defense databases.”

• A debate within the executive branch of the government, Department of State and the Pentagon is whether a devastating cyber attack (e.g., one the shuts down the nation’s power grid or Pentagon communications) is fair game for a cyber counterattack or even a casus belli that deserves full military retaliation.

• My guess: Easily 2 million or more cyber attackers from all over the world are loose on the Internet. As a result, you and I—all of us—who operate a portal into the Internet are under continuous assault 24/7. Unless we are hyper-careful, our very existences stand to be turned into a living hell.

When Life Was Simpler…
Late in World War II during cocktail hour the family was gathered in the den to hear Edward R. Murrow’s nightly broadcast from London on CBS radio when the phone rang.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

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  • Barry

    While blaming the victim is inappropriate, so it is inappropriate for software developers not to include protection from hacking. It has gotten to the point where cyberwarfare is not a joke it’s a profession, eagerly developed by America’s enemies. From the time I wrote "Why I Love Spam" some years ago to today, I often wonder why the ISP’s, Browser software developers, and others responsible for the wonders and capability of the Internet don’t develop a program that not only detects invaders, but counterattacks with software that utterly destroys the originator.

  • Barbara

    One of the best sources to check or double check scams is Snopes.com
    I’ve finally gotten some of my mother’s friends to check Snopes against what they’re getting in their inbox. They, in turn, are correcting their friends. Thanks for the links to your data–maybe they’ll consider you a "mature and reasonable" resource. :)

  • DJan

    One of the best examples of email address book hijacking was when I received an email from my colleague’s wife which said :
    " Hi, After we met the last time, I can’t stop thinking about you. I wish you’d call me sometime. "

    Now, how in the world do you confirm that this is legitimate?

  • John

    The problem has become so widespread that hacking software is now sold by the "black hats" with SLAs (Service Level Agreements), the IT world’s version of "guaranteed performance."

  • Andy

    It should also be mentioned that Apple holds all of the decryption keys to any data you sync through iCloud. Furthermore, their Terms and Conditions give them the right to not only look at your data, but to modify or delete it if they feel it violates their terms.

    So, while services like iCloud may be fine for your kids or even for syncing your personal photos, e-mails and contacts, they should NEVER be used for any business data — especially trade secrets and the like.

    One would imagine that since you can’t guarantee security, neither financial or medical information should be anywhere near iCloud or similar services as you might be violating HIPAA (medical confidentiality) or varous financial / commerce regulations.