It took me freaking forever to get my degree in IT. I’m not gonna lie, it was a hard slog of boring content, and the sad thing is it’s a constant learning job so you need to keep your faculties about you to keep up with the times. People tout some new tech and jump into it headstrong knowing it will better their lives but usually it just ends up owning them, like Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and basically everyone else because of bought sold and traded data, as well as “Facebook Integration” et al.

Big data is ridiculously powerful in this day and age. Surveillance and facial recognition is unreal, and is at it’s highest ever in the streets of our cities and where we live we have metadata retention for phones and the internet services recording everything. We have surveillance laws which are laughable in the vein of privacy, where basically everyone can be put on surveillance without even directly involving themselves with criminal behavior or activity. We used to believe the internet to be as free and, generally confidential, as a letter in your side drawer, but it was happening back then as well. For our safety, all of this ‘freedom’ which was never really there, has been compromised.

Well, what happens when cybercriminals get their hands on your small portion of the ‘big data’ and everyone else has their data stolen as well? What happens when they get their hands on two sets of data and compare and contrast them? I’m not going to delve on this page into the art of gaining access to systems illegally, but big names have been hacked and are hacked all the time. Cryptolocking is being ‘handled’ by Microsoft by having taken out a simple tool from Windows 10 used for this attack, but companies pay hush money for breaches. Plaintext passwords are still being stored, people.

There are some serious attacks you can do against even the most secure targets and create sets of more useful or revealing information from attacking different parts of datasets, and if you know your thing, you’re going to beat the whitehat security slob most of the time. Launching a new server host on the internet is often a race against time to secure it before someone targets you, and there are constantly automatic botnets trawling IP ranges of server hosts for these freshly provisioned vulnerable targets. They gain access, and within a few moments you can probably never seriously trust the hardware for production use again.

There’s just no way around it,  and basically if someone wants into a specific target, they can get in if they’re smart enough. Or if they can use Google.

This is the world we live in.

We are free range data.

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Cape Town, South Africa