Each day, billions of devices connect to the internet. You are just one of those billions attached to a network full of acquaintances and strangers. The internet has scaled at such a pace, that it can’t be controlled. Every day new attacks target new and old devices alike.
Even with the most up-to-date software, your phones are still vulnerable to lots of simple attacks like basic authentication attacks, blue-tooth wireless attacks, WiFi-attacks, and more.
Lot’s of times, people will unknowingly walk around with a malicious piece of code right on their phones, allowing attacker’s to login anytime they choose.
And one of the most important factors in not becoming a victim of cyber-crime, is staying aware of recent vulnerabilities that have been exploited.
Security experts around the world are a unusually busy sector in the computer science field. And that’s because the number of internet connected devices grows exponentially every year.
Like a double seal, the more places the oil pushes, the more places for a leak to occur. The more devices hackers can target, the more sophisticated the attacks become.
It’s becoming almost impossible to combat this issue, and without a certain level of vigilance, its easy to fall prey. As of 2019, these are the most pressing issues all tech-users should be aware of.
Rouge Nation States Continuing to Operate Unchecked
Almost all nation-states have a whole government department dedicated to cyber-security. But the white-hat, black-hat situation is different for each country. For example, you have countries like the United States and Britain who are NOT actively hunting down individuals for financial gain or political assassination .
On the other hand, nations like China, North Korea, and Iran are perusing malicious attacks with dire consequences. For example, because of a simple method known as “dorking“, Iran exposed a CIA network within China, and then Iran used that information to expose US assets, and in turn getting 20 humans killed.
The unchecked power that nation-states with malicious cyber-intent have caused literal catastrophes in some instances, and the issue continues to be a burden shouldered by the tech community rather than the political one. Programmers are forced to find new ways to ensure security is built into these applications to defend against these actors, yet it’s legal in their country, and no avenue is taken for justice. So it goes unchecked. That’s why it’s one of the top security concerns of 2019.
Too Much Restriction on US Outbound Attacks
Pretty much any server administrator will tell you, most cyber-attacks originate from a country other than the United States. There are many reasons for this, for example, a Tor Node being run from Iran, maybe by the government, maybe by a individual, but either- way, that traffic is originating from that country. And the US laws make it seem as if any port scan, or ping is one step away from putting you in federal prison.
Restrictions on independent security researchers from America is too much, and overall, it stunts the baseline knowledge of a society, allowing some nations to grow up exploiting buffer overflows while other’s grow up with SnapChat.
All outbound attacks should be legalized. As we all know, when something gets open-sourced, it becomes almost invulnerable. That’s because the more eyes on a software feature means the higher quality solutions will stick and the rest will fall. Open-sourcing the cyber-battlefield will allow new perspectives to apply different solutions, to make all the telecommunication systems we use safer.
This threat isn’t as existential as the others, but it is something to actively work at in order to make a more-aware, and less vulnerable society.
Two Factor Authentication
Two factor authentication is a great system implemented with much grace and high effectiveness. When you sign up for an account, you have the option to use 2FA. The application texts you a secret key, and you complete your signup having been verified through your phone, as well as your email and password. Even more so, applications like Blind are actually reversing the process by broadcasting a code, and you become authenticated just by typing in the broad-casted number.
The biggest mistake, people make today is not using two-factor authentication. Lots of people don’t like to wait for the extra second to login, and who can judge them? But if you value your account, and your other accounts, you need to utilize 2FA. Because even if one account gets popped, that account may share the same password for other accounts.
Lots of mayhem can be avoided by simply utilizing the 2FA system, and in the process feel a little more secure in dealing with accounts over public-wifi.
The Spectre attack allows malicious code to read protected parts of memory. Those parts of memory may contain harmless information, or it can contain data such as a credit card number.
This obviously isn’t their intention, but a lot of factors are being taken into account, and it seems like no one’s addressing the issue that if you simply visit a website, you’re whole life can be hacked.
The Rise of Corporate Surveillance
Machine Learning was in use long before its most pop-culture trend. Facial recognition systems have been fully functional in almost every nation since the nineties, and now corporations are capitalizing on the technology. When you walk into a major store, they know who you are. They have your address, they have your face hashed to cryptographic numbers to match, they have your most recent purchases, in store and out.
They have your status updates, your tweets, probably even some of your most recent pictures, and all of its meta data. The company has no problem using this information to unabashedly target you with advertisements coercing you into some artificial state.
Even worse, the companies have teamed up to allow for analytical data to be shared across the internet to make better tailored advertisements. For example, if you go to Walmart and look at certain items, Target will buy a subscription to that data, and use that information to send you advertisements. If ever there were a recipe for disaster, its one of these data centers being hacked, and a whole nation’s personal identity being released to the public, making for a very bad time.
These items are the most pressing cyber-security issues of 2019, and maybe in our life time. Because if these issues aren’t solved, the landscape that America became dependent on very quickly may dissolve into something authorities might have not for-seen.