No one, anywhere, is immune or impervious to a cyber attack



We are now all too familiar with an almost daily report of someone, somewhere, having been hacked – ranging from Government agencies to insurers to medical facilities, etc. etc.    That said, what is troubling is that the nature and extent of the hacking shows no bounds.      Nothing, nowhere, seems immune or impervious to being hacked – and it may not always be a matter of money involved where there has been a cyber attack.   It may simply be a matter of some political motive.    Witness the cyber “attack” on the Democratic Party in the USA.

Computers from a federal research network, a peak sporting body, a school and a local council are among tens of thousands of machines which have been hacked and had their login details put up for sale in a dark web marketplace, a Four Corners investigation has revealed.“Computers from a federal research network, a peak sporting body, a school and a local council

A dark web database contains the server details of more than 70,000 global organisations.

Security firm Kaspersky found 5,855 Australian organisations listed on the database.

Airlines, schools and a leading sporting body are among the targeted Australian organisations

Other major companies including Jetstar and Suzuki have systems suspected to have been compromised, but both companies deny being breached.

In June this year, security firm Kaspersky released a report that revealed more than 70,000 computers around the world had been hacked, with their usernames and passwords put up for sale on the dark web.

Computers like these can be rented by cyber criminals and used to launch attacks against others for as little as $6, according to Kaspersky.”

ABC OnLine News – 30 August, 2016

But it isn’t only businesses, and the like, who are being targeted.     The “ordinary” internet user innocently storing their “stuff” on the Cloud – which is not the wisest thing to do – using DropBox, would be have been startled to learn that DropBox had been hacked.

“The overall safety of the files parked in a cloud storage service depends on a number of things, including the security of your username and password for logging into the service. The cloud server’s own protections and your connection to the server are also factors.

Many users of the Dropbox file-storage service got prompted to change their passwords last month after it was revealed that a 2012 security breach had resulted in 68 million Dropbox users having their account login information stolen.”

Keeping Your Files Safe in the Sky” –  New York Times, 8 September, 2016

But it gets worse! – with potentially devastating consequences…..

“Havoc sneaks in so often, we shrug. Data breaches, for instance. Hackers break into bank computers or Home Depot terminals to steal credit card numbers, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers.

These are soulless numbers that make up a public identity, but not a person’s actual self.

Here, though, is a breach with a difference.

For one week in late April and early May, a hacker (or hackers) got into servers that held information provided by 22,000 people for 11 mental health studies being done at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

These were not patients being treated at the institute, but subjects of its research.

They included, among others, schoolchildren directly exposed to the events of Sept. 11; Puerto Rican youth; severely emotional disturbed young people in Westchester County and their caretakers; people in the Bronx suffering from post-traumatic stress who have family in the criminal justice system; students at three schools in Queens and four others in Washington Heights, Manhattan, whose mental health needs were being assessed.

It was a hack with different fingers, infiltrating two servers operated by the State of New York and plucking out information of varying calibers. For about 9,000 people, it captured the kind of data that is sold to identity thieves, like names, addresses and so forth.

But also stored in the servers was what people had to say about trauma, and how they were tossed about by the many storms of human existence — or weathered them. This is useful and powerful information for researchers.

Also, possibly, to criminals.

“Medical records are among the most valuable forms of personal information in the market, and are therefore frequently stolen and heavily trafficked,” Eben Moglen, a law professor at Columbia and a technologist, said.

Computer Breach Could Have Exposed Trauma Victims to Further Anguish” – New York Times, 13 September, 2016

To safeguard against all of this? – and secure one’s privacy and peace of mind?     Avoid using the Cloud to store any details – of whatever description, and especially health related – about oneself and taking charge of one’s data using LifeBank visit site.      The ability to collect, protect and control the “use” of information about one self – in other words, private to the user – as, and when necessary, can’t be emphasised enough.