Passwords, credit card numbers, log-in details, passport numbers, a variety of account numbers, important telephone numbers, home and garage security pad numbers, etc. etc. We all have them. They seem endless -and if we aren’t careful they will be “exposed” to the world. There goes our privacy! It is no wonder that a staggering 96% of internet users – a number exceeding 3 billion in the world – now count privacy as their prime concern about the internet.
Even the big and “great” – no lesser personage than Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame – has been wanting in what password he uses. Would you believe it? The Age newspaper reports:
“Chances are, you’re using the same password for multiple online accounts — or maybe recycling two or three that are easy to remember. You’re only human, and even super humans are known to commit grave password crimes.
This week Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was caught out not only using a very weak password for social media logins, but using it across multiple accounts (though not Facebook).
His password — don’t laugh, it’s “dadada” — is believed to be among millions that were leaked by hackers online following a massive breach of LinkedIn.
The Age piece goes on to make more than a valid point…..
“Why is it that we continue to ignore best practice in the face of rising hack attacks and online identity fraud?
‘Crazy’ number of logins
The answer is likely in the increasing number of online accounts we need just to go about our daily lives — from social media profiles to banking, email, subscription services, websites (many of which you’ll never visit again) and more.
“It’s completely going crazy … it’s gone mad,” says Asha Rao, associate professor of information security at RMIT.
“Almost every website you visit, if you want any kind of info, they ask you to sign up.”
Estimates of how many accounts the average person has vary; but what’s clear is the number is growing.
In 2007 Microsoft put the figure at 25, with people recycling the same six or so passwords across accounts.
Fast-forward nearly a decade, and Dashlane (which, yes, makes a password management app) reckons today we each have upwards of 100 accounts. Its data suggests the number of accounts we have doubles every five years. Yikes.”
Like it or not, hacking and the lack of security in relation to using the internet will increase despite attempts – and not all that valiant ones at that – to arrest the problem of hacking and cyber ransom. Perhaps with a sense of the dramatic look at what The New York Times reports, just today, in “A Russian Cybersleuth Batttles the ‘Dark Ages’ of the Internet“…
“A sense of menace stirs right off the elevator on the fifth floor of Kaspersky Lab’s Moscow headquarters, where a small television screen displays cyberthreats occurring in real time around the world — a blinking, spinning, color-coded globe brimming with suspicious emails, malware and evil botnets that could be infecting a computer near you.
That feeling of unease intensifies when Eugene V. Kaspersky — the stocky, garrulous, 50-year-old founder and chief executive of the global computer security company — begins to catalog possible threats: The computerized elevator you just left is vulnerable to cyberattacks, as are your smartphone and smartcar. Your bank, without question. Your electricity and water supplies could be at risk. Cybercriminals grow smarter, bolder and more elusive every year.
“We are living in the middle cyberage, the dark ages of cyber,” said Mr. Kaspersky, whose modest corner office with glass walls overlooks a stretch of canal and a boat club. He has longish salt-and-pepper hair, a trim beard and a ruddy, tanned complexion. “Right now, it is more functionality, more technology, more services, but not enough security.”
Kaspersky Lab is most famous for being the home of the brainy geek squad that exposed Stuxnet and Flame, the American-Israeli cyberweapons that disrupted Iran’s nuclear program.
Mr. Kaspersky and his company find themselves at the forefront of the battle against cybergangs, one of the largest emerging threats, for two rather simple reasons, he said: “Russian software engineers are the best; unfortunately Russian cybercriminals are the best, as well.”
Hacking methods developed in the Russian-speaking world are going global, suggesting a thriving black market in malicious code. “They don’t just hack the victims, they trade the technology to other gangs,” he said. “Now there are hundreds of victims, in the United States and Asia.”
One gang alone is believed to have stolen up to $1 billion from banks, mainly in Russia, in 2013 and 2014. And this month, Kaspersky Lab experts helped Russia catch its largest hacking gang yet — 50 people were arrested and accused of stealing $45 million since 2011. Investigators now believe the North Korean government hacked an international financial messaging system in February in an effort to drain $1 billion from the central bank of Bangladesh. They managed to get $81 million before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York became suspicious and cut off the transaction.
After banks, commodities are a big new target. Hackers manipulate supply records, disguising surpluses to sell. “We now have reports that it is massive, it is everywhere,” said Mr. Kaspersky, who speaks colorful English with a Russian accent.
One is entitled to feel vulnerable and insecure to one’s privacy, in effect, being hijacked.
One effective, straight-forward and inexpensive way to collect and protect – yes, protect – all of one’s personal details (of all descriptions) is to secure for oneself, and use, LifeBank, BusinessBank or HealthBank. It is you, the user, armed with the encrypted data key, which is in your possession and under your control who safeguards all that personal information from being “out there” for the world to access.
PS You might want to do Mark Z a big favour and send this piece on to him…..