Wanted:Trusty Digital Security Blanket

Beloved Peanuts cartoon character Linus is lucky. He’s got his trusty security blanket, and all is right in his world.

But the rest of us aren’t so lucky. Our digital security blankets are failing to cover us at an ever-increasing pace, and no one–not even the most powerful governments and military alliances–have so far been able to stem the worrisome tide.

In Britain, the 150 year old “News of The World” tabloid was shut down yesterday as the result of a mobile phone hacking scandal.

Closer to home; the US Government’s top technology security provider, RSA Security, was hacked a few months ago. That enabled hackers to then access information from defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Northrop-Gruman, and L-3 Communications.

While Lockheed Martin claimed fighter project schematics and other government information was not leaked; they did advise their clients to protect themselves from possible issues that could arrive as a result of the data loss.

Last month, Citibank revealed that information from more than 360,000 credit card accounts had been stolen by hackers, and Sony warned 77 million Playstation customers that credit-card data, billing addresses and other personal information may have been stolen by a hackers back in April.

Meanwhile, after NATO recently warned member nations that hackers could seriously threaten the security of member nations, the hacker group Anonymous fired of a response warning NATO not to challenge it.

Shortly thereafter, hackers attacked a Turkish government website in protest against planned government filters on public access to the internet. 32 alleged members of that group were arrested in Turkey connection with a denial of service attack on a Turkish government website.

In Colorado, the US Department of Justice is trying to get a federal judge to order a suspect in a mortgage fraud scheme to reveal the secret password to her encrypted laptop. Defense attorneys are claiming that would violate their clients’ 5th amendment constitutional right to not to make self-incriminating statements.

So, if NATO is worried; the Federal Government’s IT security provider got hacked; defense contractors are at risk of losing secret military technology; banks can’t protect our money; and the feds want to force us to give up our computer passwords; I’m thinking we’re all just pretty much sitting ducks.

Linus has it right. Time to grab a security blanket and hang on tight, as we’re all in for a very bumpy ride.


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