Cyber Hacking On The Rise
Colonial Pipeline was hit with a devastating ransomware cyberattack in May 2021 that impacted computerized equipment managing the pipeline. The attack forced the company to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline in the United States, crippling gas delivery systems across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic states and panicking consumers.
By William Jones and D.S. Mitchell
Terrorists. Criminals and Cowboys
The ongoing digitization of all aspects of modern life should be concerning. Governments world-wide are facing new challenges to keep both business and government secrets private in an increasingly threatening world of cyber criminals, state sponsored terrorists, and cowboy hackers. With increasing online and data usage, government databases have become primary targets for hackers and other cyber terrorists and criminals. Recent events have shaken the U.S. government and citizen confidence. Hackers can compromise data and as Chris Krebs said recently, ransomware attackers are the greatest threat to our digital world. Krebs served as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security from November 2018 to November 2020.
Cyber warfare is defined as actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation’s computers or networks to cause damage or disruption. It may also include non-state actors, such as terrorist groups, private companies, political or ideological extremist groups, criminal organizations, and activists. Cyber attacks have been a cause of concern for years, as the frequency of data breaches has increased along with their complexity and (economic, military, and political) implications, including elections and military catastrophe an ever growing possibility.
Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn:
Nothing But PR & Energy Politics
By Sonnet Gomes
I was so content with my current tiny investment in Cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, till last night. When Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn simply throws me off the edge.
Musk’s Tweet on suspending vehicle purchase using Bitcoin not only struck a boult on me but also my itty-bitty crypto asset. No wonder I was enraged to see the price dropping, and my investment is fading away.
However, it took me a while to come to my senses (thanks to my wife for a late-night Coffee) and realize what is actually going on.
Musk’s Twitter Activity from Last Night
The entire Tweet, I am sure, will amaze almost anyone. Let’s look at a few lines of it first, and then I will dive deep into them.
- “We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel” (O Boy, O Boy! we had no clue about it until the Tweet!)
- “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels, and we believe it has a promising future” (So Tesla and SpaceX are not dumping all its crypto assets because they are nothing but energy-guzzler carbon-emitting machines)
- “Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin, and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy” (He actually loves Bitcoin and keeping all the digital assets for future use. Wondering what it’s that? Well, the next Bitcoin big selling)
The Emergence of Digital Currency
By Jones William & D. S. Mitchell
“Cryptocurrency is a digital or ‘virtual’ currency that uses cryptography for security,” Wikipedia
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
The first of two milestones in the development of cryptocurrency took place in 2008 and 2009. The domain name bitcoin.org was registered on August 18th, 2008. In 2009, a programmer/inventor known only by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto announced he had found a way to build a decentralized digital cash system. The mysterious “Satoshi Nakamoto” published a paper “Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System”. In his paper Nakamoto described a totally decentralized digital currency, with no server or central authority, thus setting the ball rolling for the emergence of digital currency.
Digital currencies use extremely complex encrypt sensitive data transfers to secure the units of exchange. In this regard, digital currency developers build complex code systems based on advanced computer engineering and mathematics principles. This approach renders them almost impossible to break, thus minimizing chances of duplication. The adopted protocols for digital currencies also help mask the identities of cryptocurrency users, thus making it difficult to attribute fund flows and transactions to specific people.