Tis the Season–to Get Hacked?

Chart+of+unique+visitors+for+popular+messaging+apps%2C+courtesy+Tribune+News+Service.

MCT

Chart of unique visitors for popular messaging apps, courtesy Tribune News Service.

 What better way to start off your Christmas than to open up a brand new Xbox only to find out you can’t really use it? Not only was Xbox Live hacked but so was PlayStation Network, by a group called the Lizard Squad.  Apparently the group hacked these two gaming stations for fun. It is truly the season for hacking if Xbox can get hacked–all your debit/credit card information is exposed, and their Santa Claus is your Visa card or bank account. Anybody can simply take and use your information for their accounts. When Sony got hacked (by North Korea, according to our government), the hackers threatened to blow up any movie theatre that showed “The Interview” movie, leaving Sony a big hole in the pocket, and with a whole lot of embarrassing emails leaked too. That didn’t stop them from earning (so far) $18 million dollars total online and in a few brave theatres…the movie is all over the usual torrent sites, and now up on YouTube, I mean what are they gonna do, blow up any computer that plays the movie?

In other cyber-security news let’s talk about the new policy stores such as Victoria Secret are putting in effect. Such as scanning any source of identification, such as a driver’s license or military ID card–leaving your information in their computer, when you are returning products. Not too long ago Home Depot had to announce that many of it’s customer databases had been hacked, but other than canceling your credit card, no one cares if you are buying light fixtures or two-by-fours.  Now say if someone can hack into Playsation, Xbox, or Sony entertainment, they can definitely hack into Victoria Secret and take information–despite their advertising, most people would probably like to keep their underwear purchases private. The moral part of the story is these days you have to be careful with your information now a days, you never know what may happen to your information.

But for those of use who already are concerned about our privacy and security online, bad news.  The Prime Minister of England has publicly said he wants a government “backdoor” access to alternative messaging services like SnapChat.  This comes after recent terror attacks in France.  David Cameron seemed to imply that Britain always has been able to access any kind of “regular” social media, or even messages and or phone calls. The Prime Minister has claimed secure messaging services like WhatsApp and Snapchat are completely pointless and unnecessary for law-abiding citizens. Mayor Johnson has stated that “If they’re a threat, I want their emails and calls listened to.”