Hacking has come a long way since 1971 when Apple founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs hacked into phone networks and sold hacking devices called “blue boxes” to their fellow students at UC Berkeley.
Nowadays, hackers understand that whoever possesses information has the upper hand in “the game.”
Thanks to Edward Snowden’s leaks, we’ve learned that this is exactly what the National Security Agency (NSA) is after when spying on billions of people and leaders around the world – the upper hand.
But the US government isn’t the only one trying to get their hands on information. In fact, in 2010 Google publicly admitted that hackers in China’s People’s Liberation Army had targeted their global password management system, thus granting them access to the accounts and web searches of millions of Google customers worldwide.
Or consider another mass invasion of privacy that occurred in 2013, when the personal information from 110 million accounts was stolen from retail company Target’s database by a 17-year-old Russian hacker. As our data migrates away from physical silos into “the Cloud,” the need to protect our information becomes even more pressing.
From a business perspective, the cloud seems like a great idea because of its implications for innovation, productivity, and entrepreneurship. However, from the standpoint of public policy, security and law, problems such as privacy rights and the jurisdictional aspect of criminalizing hackers still need to be addressed. Questions like, “Where was the crime actually committed?” or “Where does the criminal operate from?” aren’t easily answered within the current legal framework.
Thus, regular citizens share the responsibility of staying informed about cyber regulations. We must encrypt the data on our computers and phones with encryption programs, such as BitLocker and FileVault, and by keeping the operating system up to date.