Can Digital Locks Be Trusted?

Two days after I wrote about briefings here in Washington, DC, where the nation’s top cybersecurity experts said the internet is both insecure and structurally unstable; there was another massive hack on a huge company–Yahoo–that resulted in the theft of 450,000 user passwords.

As if that weren’t enough; those who hacked the system reported they didn’t even have to try very hard, because Yahoo–like LinkedIn, a few weeks ago–hadn’t even bothered to lock down their database with even the most basic security measures.

As a result; tech websites have been advising everybody who has a Yahoo account to change their passwords, and even more than that; to change the passwords of every account connected to their Yahoo account. That may sound relatively easy on the surface, but it’s a huge time suck and pain in the ***** for all of the millions of people who have a Yahoo account–who may or may not have been part of the breach.

So, as I ruminated and fumed over what a huge hassle this is for so many people; this gigantic light bulb went off in my head, and I thought “hmmmm….what if there were biometric scanners built into my computer, so that I would never have to use a stinkin’ password again?”

Ha! Brilliant!

But then again–maybe not so much.

That’s because, it turns out that even though biometric scanners are pretty darn awesome; able to document and process all kinds of  very personally identifiable data–that data still goes into a database somewhere….and that database can be hacked. That stark reality takes us right back to the point made by the cyber gurus who say there need to be serious, substantive, and immediate changes to the way data is secured and transmitted online.

Check out my blog post “Cyber Insecurity“, and follow the links for more information.

What you’ll see is that the people in the know on this topic believe there need to be changes to laws, additional military personnel, information sharing between the private sector and government, a focus on information assurance and security in the courses offered at top universities, collaboration with other countries to address shared issues, and more.

Until there is a better and more reliable way to secure information; we are all at risk. But the more security we demand and expect from our government; the more civil liberties and privacy we may have to give up.

Is that what you want? What should we do about it? Follow these links, and join the discussion:

Addressing Cyber Instability

Cybersecurity and American Power

Surveillance Self Defense

Protecting Civil Liberties in The Digital Age

FBI Prepares a Vast Database of Biometrics

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