Scary!

As if Amazon isn't already intruding enough into our lives in one way or another, a further example of where Amazon seeks to go, ought to cause us all grave concern....."In one talk at the conference, an Amazon Web Services executive showed off the company’s 8,700-mile undersea cable, part of an A.W.S. global network that each day adds computing power equal to that inside a Fortune 500 corporation, and spoke about this expansion. He talked about crushing the costs of servers and networking, most likely sad news for old tech giants that make those things, like Dell and Cisco.In a nice bit of showmanship during the main keynote, Andy Jassy, the head of A.W.S., appeared onstage with an 18-wheel truck carrying a device that could suck 100 petabytes of data out of a customer’s computers and put it in the Amazon cloud. That is equal to two billion filing cabinets of paper, which a surprising number of companies now possess in digital form, thanks to things like video and sensors.Put that together with some software Mr. Jassy talked about that would be on chips made by Intel but capable of gaining access to the A.W.S. cloud, and you get the picture: There isn’t a part of computing Amazon doesn’t want to touch."The New York Times, 25 December, 2016There can be not gain-saying that we are all under threat in the way the internet is failing to protect us - that is, our personal data, more especially our medical details.      It is all well and good, say, banks proceeding on the basis that they will compensate or hold a credit cardholder safe from fraud, but that is scant help to the end-user of a credit card - or whose personal information has been illegally obtained - from, for example, identity theft.   Worse still is the impact on some whose medical history for records are "out there" - a la Facebook - with the likely consequence of a prospective employer checking on a candidate for employment ascertaining, say, that that person has had psychiatric treatment or taken medication for depression.   Forget about getting that job!Let this piece in The Age newspaper (in Australia - last 2 December) highlight the enormity of the problem..."There's no shortage of major cyber attacks across the globe wreaking damage.This year alone we've seen one of the most damaging cases of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) – an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources – against New Hampshire-based web company Dyn, which controls much of America's internet infrastructure. It led to outages of major websites such as Twitter, Airbnb, Amazon, Reddit and The New York Times to name a few.We've seen Yahoo! admitting to one of the largest data breaches of all time. The company was hacked by a state-sponsored actor in 2014, with more than half a billion usernames and passwords of its customers stolen.We've seen US intelligence agencies blaming the Russian government for leaking emails stolen from senior Democrats in an attempt to influence the US election (the Obama administration later confirmed the results "accurately reflect the will of the American people").We've seen a data breach of major Indian Banks – an estimated 3.2 million debit cards compromised, resulting in the country's banks announcing the blocking and replacement of almost 600,000 debit cards."And...."Reports flow in almost daily of scammers targeting Centrelink, the Department of Immigration, the Department of Human Services and the list goes on.If the e-Census was not bad enough, on October 31 as thousands of taxpayers were trying to log on for the end of self-lodgements for tax time, cybercriminals launched another denial-of-service attack on myGov.And as Penn alludes, the nation's largest businesses from the big four banks, to energy and utility companies to the major telcos are fighting threats on a second-by-second basis."    

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