DANGER AHEAD: Cyber Hacking On The Rise

Cyber threats to world economies is growing daily


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

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.

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Digital Revolution: Kinda Awesome

Digital Revolution: Kinda Awesome     

Trevor K. McNeil


Going Digital

Everything is going online, the so-called “Digital Revolution” generally considered to be as significant as the Industrial Revolution. For good or ill, more things are moving online from correspondence to media. The terms “old media” and “new media” going from cultural terms to more significant distinctions.

On the Bright Side

One of the positive impacts of the shift to New Media, and the general reduction in production costs, is the opening up of popular media to traditionally marginalized groups. People are more able to make their own media, free of the censorship, stigma and traditionalist bullshit still rife in the studio system. The sort of attitudes that would have female nominees banned from the red carpet for not wearing high heels.

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Reading The Fine Print Before You Sign

Reading The Fine Print Before You Sign


17 Phrases To Understand Before You Sign

By D. S. Mitchell

Red Flags

Most consumer contracts and service agreements contain a lot of legaleeze. Best selling author Bob Sullivan warns consumers to read the fine print. Red flags should go up when you see any of the following common phrases in a contract you are about to sign.

1.)Free”  We all know nothing is free. You have probably heard the expression, “if you aren’t paying for the product-then you are the product.” The meaning of course is that your personal information is probably being sold to advertisers. OR, maybe it is free now, but you may be committing to pay later. WHICH, takes us to:

2.) “Free Trial”  You often see phrases like this one, “Free 30 day trial.” (We won’t charge your card until the end of the trial period.) Do you really expect to remember to cancel on the 29th day?  Corporations have spent millions of dollars to learn that the average consumer will not cancel before the end of the 30 day period.  

3.) “Reduced Price for Six Months” This one falls in the same category as ‘introductory price offer’ and ‘free trial’ scam.  $59.00 a month for six months may sound great in January, but if it is going up to $150.00 in June is it actually a good deal? You are the only one that can decide that. And again, will you remember to cancel before July 1st if you decide that the high monthly price after the six month period isn’t worth it?

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Defending Civil Liberties in the Digital World Against Trump Threats

My friend, and super techno-geek, Jane, brought a magazine to the house and showed me an ad that had caught her attention. I thought it was interesting enough to comment on it here, at Calamity Politics. So, remember it is an advertisement, but the questions it brings up are noteworthy and in need of deeper political investigation and discussion. I will not be doing any research on the matter, and will assign that research task to my readers if they are interested. If a reader learns something interesting be sure to pass it on to us curious bystanders. To tell you the truth, I am so busy trying to keep up on the political news each day I barely have time to walk the dog.

This post was taken from an ad page by Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org/defend-users):  Although an ad, I thought the issue was serious enough to bring it to the attention of my friends and readers.

“Incoming President Donald Trump made campaign promises that, if carried out, threaten the free web and the rights of millions of people.  He has praised attempts to undermine digital security, supported mass surveillance, and threatened net neutrality.  He (Trump) promised to identify and deport millions of your friends and neighbors, track people based on their religious beliefs, and suppress freedom of the press.  And he (Trump) wants to use your servers (the technology community) to do it.”

EFF is “calling on the technology community to unite with EFF in securing our networks against this threat.

ENCRYPT:  Use HTTPS and end-to-end encryption for every user transaction, communication and activity by default.  DELETE:  Scrub your logs.  You cannot be made to surrender data you do not have.  REVEAL:  If you get a government request to monitor users or censor speech, tell the world.  RESIST:  Fight for user rights in court, on Capital Hill, and beyond. **(When you stand with users, EFF will stand with you).  EFF has fought for the rights of technology creators and users for 26 years, through four different presidential administrations.  As a nonpartisan nonprofit, we combine litigation, activism, and software development to defend civil liberties in the digital world.”

“Finally,  The future of our democracy depends on the Internet that is free from censorship and government surveillance.  Together we can ensure that technology created to connect and uplift people worldwide is not conscripted into a tool of oppression.”

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