We live in a world of exponentially explosive technological development. In our insatiable hunger for the latest and greatest new device or technological advancement, few have stopped to ask difficult yet important questions. In Future Crimes, Marc Goodman, a leading authority on global security, takes the reader on a horrifying journey to the dark side of all these so called advances, and forces individuals, corporations, and governments to ask the tough questions regarding our security and privacy.
The fact is, no computer ever built has been unhackable. Individual hackers, and a growing criminal underground understand this and have been working diligently to capitalize on the virtually limitless treasure trove of money, information, and explicit activities available to them through the dark web. Yet, as Goodman repeatedly demonstrates, the public at large is generally unaware and/or apathetic to such crimes and violations of their privacy. A couple of years ago, within a few days, Target and the Sony Playstation network were hacked. All told, over 100,000,000 americans had their personal data and credit card information stolen. Most people barely raised an eyebrow to all this. But think about it – nearly 1/3 of all Americans were victims of a crime within a few days.
When everything is connected, everyone is vulnerable. Baby monitors have been hacked. City trams have been hacked. The U.S. government hacked and disabled an Iranian nuclear facility. In the news this week was yet another story of the government of China on a massive U.S. hacking spree. Or perhaps you heard about the security researcher who commandeered a United Airlines flight through the inflight entertainment system in May. Even our blog here has been hacked in the past.
Or did you know about how corporations acquire your personal data and location and then sell that information to secondary parties… who then sell that info… who then sell that info. The worst offenders in this area of course is Google and Facebook, but even apps like Angry Birds and others make a bulk of their money selling your location to others when you use their app.
Rare is it when a book causes me to make drastic changes to my life or to talk about it constantly to others. This is one of those books. Here are a few of my personal takeaways from the book:
- Google is indeed evil… and so is Facebook – These ‘free’ services and products, while often great, are hardly free to the user. You are the product. Furthermore, as these companies sell and share your data with other companies, who is controlling who can see what?
- The Android OS is a security nightmare (since it is open software with dozens of versions leaving many open doors for security vulnerabilities).
- Our basic passwords for secure websites have long been an extremely weak and outdated means for protecting your online resources.
- If you do nothing else with this book, you would do well to read and apply the authors personal security protocol called UPDATE: