Your computers and your phones, the internet of things (IoT), etc., are the key devices that afford us the great ability to communicate and they have been completely compromised allowing anyone or any agency, state-sponsored or otherwise to collect vast amounts of data, personal and professional (intellectual property) on your company and/or your person. This can be as gravitas as to warrant a national security issue to the simple collection of personal data. This instructional manual is designed to give companies and individual humans the details (step-by-step) on how to remain anonymous and retain privacy and security in the digital medium.
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Telecommunications Security Anonymity and Privacy -33.p
Of course, there is no mention of what operating system was on the receiving end of the attacks, but we all know what it is.
So, Microsoft, why are you running so many TV commercials about your grand, new “cloud” and how it effectively helps you ferret out criminals – hackers, identity thefts, and spammers?
Ummm, hello, Microsoft, your flawed, crapfestival architecture of an operating system is the real reason there ARE these cyber criminals – YOU created them. I have seen how a real cloud and its infrastructure works, and it resembles nothing to do with what you are doing. The Thin/Zero client architecture others are using, generally linux-based and open source, is a REAL secure system…not a fantasy based on the same old repackaged proprietary junk you think warrants extorting $$ from everyman.
Here’s the deal. ChromeOS (which is based on linux), linux distros, and even the MacOS are always far more secure than what you offer and always have been. And, they don’t need memory-sucking prophylactic applications running in the background to defend their OS’s against malware. You’re also feeling the hurt from what they have to offer now because their OS’s are as easy (if not easier) for end-users to operate and navigate – and their attendant applications (open source and free) rival anything that you have that you charge big bucks for. You are hanging on to unravelling threads at this point – your user-base is slipping away, and it’s completely obvious by the way that you are throwing mega $$ at these issues through pathetic, carpet-bombing, advertising campaigns. Grow the fuck up already. Apple saw the writing on the wall ages ago and threw out their entire OS in favor of a linux-based one. Microsoft, you are a dinosaur, and the asteroid with your name on it is coming.
Myself and a few other security researchers had been talking about this for years…of course we were all told we were insane.
I’ve stated in the past that I find little motivation to go back to work for any large corporate institution as a security analyst, and there is good reason for this. I care about real security. If a company is so mired with ancient IT standards, and still insists they need credentialed Microsoft (MS) administrators to protect their MS environment, I want no part of that. It is not real security, it is pure theater and histrionics, period. If you are a forward thinking organization, and truly want to secure your assets, you won’t be employing people to “secure” Microsoft operating systems, you will employ someone to entirely re-architect your infrastructure so as to avoid endless hours of chasing malware phantoms on your desktops and servers. The cost to the companies who would do this security and infrastructure re-architecting would be far less than preserving their current models of prophylactic protection. And the costs of maintaining the new infrastructure would be drastically reduced.
Of course, the big subscription-based anti-virus companies don’t want this as it will certainly kill their cash-cow. And, the OS in question doesn’t want this because they don’t want change. If a company is truly serious about security, and they all should be, I will work for you. I will ensure your IT infrastructure is secured, but you can expect big changes in the way real security is done.
Recent security events fomented by the United States government – that appear to have been entirely fabricated – are without doubt strategically designed to reinstate the global tension once familiar during the so-called “Cold War” years. It has been rather obvious that the American people do not want its country involved in foreign wars that seem to have no purpose other than making large sums of money for certain favored corporations. As a consequence of our pulling-out of these wars, defense contract spending disappears.
That this administration would accuse the North Korean government of “hacking” Sony because of the content of a Hollywood-produced movie is just silliness. North Korea obviously had nothing to do with this hacking, but because some official on the news, or some government agency in a press conference says it’s so, it must be true (now it is being stated that the NSA had backdoors into North Korea’s infrastructure, so they have proof that the DPR of Korea was behind the hack).
The Cold War space race is also being reinvigorated with declarations that NASA will be working toward the next generation Apollo missions – this time the target is Mars.
Alternately, making friends now with Cuba, after a stasis of 50 years of sanctions and ostracization does nothing for this country or Cuba. At this time all it does is piss off Russia. But, it’s a sensible tactic where the politicians of this country are sponsored by giant defense corporations. If they’re pulling out of active wars, but they’re in a desperate need to keep fueling the military industrial complex that signs their paychecks, they can cleverly revive the Cold War game plan. A potential war is far better than an active war, and will create the same familiar anxieties of the former Cold War years. This will rally the people of this country to accept a continuing and enormous spending spree on defense to keep the country “safe.” And, since there is no real war, we’re happy with this spending on defense.
A good plan in theory, but this time, it won’t end well. The current crop of new leaders of the world’s countries don’t have the experience of the First and Second World Wars – they know not from those horrors, and will be more than willing to engage in a new world war, one that ultimately possesses the ability to end the “world” as we know it.
The “thin client” is back, and very soon, it will dominate the average user experience. What is a “thin client?” In the 1970s computer users used simple terminals (a keyboard and a monitor) with no local operating system to access a mainframe that ran all the programs the user of the terminal needed. There were no programs on the user’s computer. Thin clients are computer terminals that rely on an external computer to perform work. In the 1980s, the invention of the PC was born, and this new emphasis required complete operating systems and software to be installed and maintained on each individual computer. This so-called “fat client” sacrificed the centralized administration, security, and programming of the mainframe/dumb terminal configuration. Malware has flourished under this model of computing, relying on the ignorance of the average computer user for the propagation of its malicious wares.
This is one of the main reasons thin clients are making a big comeback. They also offer considerable flexibility and cost savings over traditional fat client networks, and make it easier to monitor employee use of network resources on large corporate networks. “Desktop Support” is no longer needed – if the hardware fails on a thin client terminal, replacement of the user’s “dumb terminal” device is the only solution, and is far more inexpensive than the typical fat client reconfiguration of restoring its individual operating system and the user’s directory of personal and local files.
Today, this thin-client model has the new moniker of “cloud computing” but it’s really a throwback to the original thin-client/mainframe network paradigm. The individual programs you used to download and install on your local hard drive, are now installed in the cloud (on the server environment) and when invoked by the user, are run on the server, rather than on the user’s personal computer. Today’s much faster communication speeds make the cloud user’s experience nearly identical to their earlier familiarity with locally running programs.
The greatest concern for users in the thin-client/cloud environment is not security, or personal data retention (loss of data), it is privacy. If you are reliant on communication, and storage of data in the cloud, your privacy is in the hands of the provider of that cloud. The acceptance and popularity of social media platforms suggests that most of today’s users really have little concern for privacy, are more concerned about personal security, and they will without hesitation accept the coming thin-client model. It is already happening, and as a computer security person who is old enough to have experienced the original model, and worked through the failed local model, the full circle return to a centralized network, is enthusiastically embraced.
For more info, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client