Almost daily, news reports of major corporations falling victim to cyber attacks flood the media. What does this mean for us as individuals? As consumers? As a society? How serious a threat are we facing, and how much of it is media hype?
I. Boston Marathon Bombing media coverage: Twitter’s integral role. From helping runners notify their loved ones amid the chaos, to hospitals communicating occupancy info, to the Boston Police Department announcing the capture of the suspect — Twitter played an important role in the devastating event. Emily and Melanie discuss. To find out ways to help the victims, click here.
II. Spamhaus and other recent/notable cyber attacks. The list of companies that have fallen victim to cyber attacks reads like a Fortune 50 list — Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, Sony, and even government entities such as the US Federal Reserve, South Korea, North Korea, etc. have reported major security breaches linked to hackers. Recently, the infamous Spamhaus attack caused a global Internet slow-down by what some experts are calling the biggest cyber attack in history. Click here to see the Cyberbunker building image referenced.
III. Portrait of a Hacker. So, who are the men and women behind cyber attacks? Melanie and Emily discuss hacking history, a common type of attack (denial-of-service attack, or DDoS), and three types of hackers: ethical hackers, hacktavists, and organized cyber crime groups. Is there a such thing as a good hacker?
IV. What we’re doing about it. Governments and corporate executives are beginning to realize the severity of a potential cyber attack. Emily and Melanie discuss the ways the EU, U.S., and others are taking protective initiatives.
Tips on Tap
I. FireMe! App – New app which tracks certain negative phrases about bosses and jobs in social media and rates how likely they are to get the poster fired.
II. Vine – Emily’s love/hate relationship with Vine, a sometimes bagbiter new Twitter-owned social media platform that allows users to create six-second .gif-like looping video mash-ups. Less than three months after its January 2013 release, the popular video-sharing service topped the U.S. App Store’s list of free iPhone apps. Emily quoted John Constine’s 4/20/13 techcrunch article about Vine (and this is just poignant in general about how we use smartphones to memorialize moments):
It’s when Vines disintegrate that I get truly angry, though. It’s blatant violation of the implicit value exchange between a human and an app. Rather than live a moment, I recorded it. When I ended up with nothing to show for it, I feel cheated.
III. Shopping for Flights Online: When to Buy – Melanie offers tips on how and when to get the best deal on airfare online.
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