Tag: Hacking

PRIVACY, PROLIFERATION OF TECHNOLOGY AND THE 666 SERIAL NUMBER

BLINDSPOT -- "Bone May Rot" Episode 104 -- Pictured: Jaimie Alexander as Jane Doe -- (Photo by: Giovanni Rufino/NBC)
Serial Numbers engraved on the face of Jaimie Alexander who stars as Jane Doe in the NBC hit show BLINDSPOT — (Photo by: Giovanni Rufino/NBC)

Somebody wrote somewhere that we used to be private by default and public by effort. These days the reverse is the case. You cannot be able to use your smartphone or smart television without agreeing to so many privacy breaching terms and conditions you have no inkling what they are about. And your refusal to agree to these terms means you cannot be able to use that smartphone of yours, that television set you just bought, that app you are about to install in your phone, that software you just downloaded  on your computer, or even that GPS system in either your car or your phone. Forced surrender of our rights to privacy by technology companies in order for us to use their products. Products  which have become a necessity for our everyday human interaction. The new world order.

We used to be private by default.

Few days ago I was away at work when I got into one of my regular sensual thoughts for my wife. So I asked her to take and text me some sexy pictures to assuage the feelings pending my return to the house. My wife is raised in church. And as such she wouldn’t want anyone besides me to see any part of her body that’s not supposed to be public. Therefore because she could not guarantee that once she takes the picture, that Google+ would not typically pry on it and store it away wherever it stores away stuffs like that, she asked me to be patient and wait until I get home and get the whole package. I was disappointed kind of, but that was the price we have to pay to maintain some degree of privacy with our bodies in our marriage. But the most frustrating thing about it is that we purchased a phone with our money but we still have no control over it. Naturally once you purchase a product such as a phone with your money, you should be able to own it, and in the case of a smartphone, you should be able to uninstall any app in it, be it Google+ or otherwise that you think is snooping on you. Apps that store away any and every picture you take on your phone without your consent. But these tech companies built those spying apps into the phones such that you cannot uninstall them. I’ve tried without any success many times. Sometimes failure to even update them messes up the functionality of the whole phone.  So they own our lives as far as we use their products. And the way life is being constructed these days, it have become a necessity for us depend on these products for our daily living. Suffice it to say that as long as we want to continue to be able to have human interactions with our fellow humans, as far as we want to continue to be able to buy and to sell, and as far as we want to continue to be able to enjoy a little bit of entertainment with these products, we have to use these products. And using them guarantees that we have given up our privacy and the tech companies now own us. Necessity now equals surrender of our privacy. They used to tell us those days in church that without the mark you will not be able to buy or to sell. The time will soon be upon us.
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How the CIA lost an Asset

The CIA Memorial Wall
The CIA Memorial Wall

So a friend of mine recently developed an interest to work for the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA. My friend is one of the smartest dudes on Earth and among the few men I revere.  He has a sharp mind. He is so discerning of a person’s intentions you might think he has a degree in psychology.  He is almost telepathic. And he is well lettered and has the mien of, well, the kind of professionals that are cast in the movies that work for the CIA. I have no doubt in my mind that he will be a great asset for the CIA.

I visited with him yesterday evening. By the time I got to his house, he had already browsed through the career page of the CIA’s website and decided on Political Analyst as the career path he want to pursue with the CIA. He had his resume tailored to meet the requirements of the job he want to apply for. And for the presumed questions the page indicated that he will be required to provide answers to as he proceeds in his online application, he had the answers ready. Then came the online application process itself.

Step 1 has to do with selecting 3 security questions from a drop down list and providing the answers, the purpose of which is to remind the applicant of their login info should they forget their username and or his password. That went pretty smooth.

In Step 2 the CIA website itself generated what to me is a simple alphanumeric username for the applicant. Then came Step 3.

In Step 3, the website requires the applicant to choose his or her own password. And it demands that the password contain lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and specifically, 2 special characters.

 

Passwords to me is an illusion of security. Therefore I do not care much about making my passwords complex. So whoever anytime desires to hack into any of my numerous online accounts can do so easily. And I simply do not care. But Kinsella my buddy love complex passwords, not because he is concerned about someone hacking him. It’s just who Kinsella is. Complex.  So when it got to the point of choosing the password for his CIA online application form, he came up with the strangest combination of letters, numbers, and characters I have ever seen, while being careful to abide by the password requirements of the website. After he “ENTERED” it, the website told him his password choice was mediocre and that he had to come up with something strong. He felt challenged and rolled out another combination he thought will take the guys at NSA forever to crack. Forgive my hyperbole. The second time the website told him his choice was very week. And this back and forth continued for a straight one hour. He will roll out a combination of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and 2 special characters and after entering it, the website will tell him that it was weak, very weak, or mediocre.

Initially, he thought it was a test to ascertain his level of enthusiastic about pursuing a career with the CIA and to determine how determined he is to overcome challenges and be better at generating a more complex set of combination of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and specifically, 2 special characters. But after an hour, it becomes a fruitless effort at satisfying some ludicrousness. His perception I must say. I was astonished at the CIA for that stupidity and was very relieved for my friend when he folded up his laptop and called it a day.

Now my friend’s experience could be as a result of a glitch on CIA’s website. But I strongly doubt that because up until that point of entering his choice of password, every other thing was working perfectly.

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