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Your personal devices are not as tempting to hackers as business and government computer systems. These systems are treasure troves of payment card data for millions of customers, myriads of personnel and health records, and whole libraries of secret innovations, laboriously collected customer data, marketing plans, and business strategies. Some enterprises are willing to pay any ransom to avoid interrupting their business. Each treasure has a price on the black market. Nevertheless, individual smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops are still vulnerable. For less skilled hackers, unprotected personal devices are easier and safer targets. What these criminals lack in skill, they make up for in numbers. They can steal and sell your data the same markets used by advanced hackers and they are ready to take over your computer and use its capacity for their own purposes.
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Apple, for example, has fostered an image of invulnerability. Linux is sometimes claimed to be invulnerable also. Security experts disagree. All platforms are vulnerable. For example, see Gary Davis, “Mobile Myths: Can My Apple Devices Get Hacked?” McAfee Blog Central, Feb 15, 2013. https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/mobile-myths-can-my-apple-devices-get-hacked/ . Accessed March 2016. On the Linux side, see Paolo Rovelli, “Don’t believe these four myths about Linux security,” Sophos Blog, March 26, 2015. https://blogs.sophos.com/2015/03/26/dont-believe-these-four-myths-about-linux-security/ . Accessed March 2016.
Richard Winton, “Hollywood hospital pays $17,000 in bitcoin to hackers; FBI investigating,” Los Angeles Times, February 18, 2016, www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-hollywood-hospital-bitcoin-20160217-story.html . Accessed February, 2016.
Violet Blue, “CryptoLocker’s crime wave: A trail of millions in laundered Bitcoin,” ZDNet, December 22, 2013. www.zdnet.com/article/cryptolockers-crimewave-a-trail-of-millions-in-laundered-bitcoin/ . Accessed February 2016.
Brian Krebs, “ ‘Operation Tovar’ Targets ‘Gameover’ ZeuS Botnet, CryptoLocker,Scourge,” June 14, 2014. http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/06/operation-tovar-targets-gameover-zeus-botnet-cryptolocker-scourge/ . Accessed February 2016.
Liviu Arsene, “Android Ransomware and SMS-Sending Trojans Remain a Growing Threat,” Bitdefender Labs, January 2016. http://download.bitdefender.com/resources/files/News/CaseStudies/study/85/Android-Malware-Threat-Report-H2-2015.pdf . Accessed March 2016.
For a more detailed technical description of what CryptoLocker does, see Octavian Minea, “Cryptolocker Ransomware Makes a Bitcoin Wallet per Victim,” Bitdefender Labs. https://labs.bitdefender.com/2013/10/cryptolocker-ransomware-makes-a-bitcoin-wallet-per-victim/ . Accessed March 2016.
The Security Ledger, “FBI’s Advice on Ransomware? Just Pay the Ransom,” October 22, 2015.
https://securityledger.com/2015/10/fbis-advice-on-cryptolocker-just-pay-the-ransom/ . Accessed March 2014.
I have lived in the Bellingham area all my life. I have a distant connection to the two dead boys. Reading between the lines as a software engineer, the NTSB report was tragic. The innocence of the victims was crushing.
National Transportation Safety Board, “Pipeline Rupture and Subsequent Fire in Bellingham, Washington June 10, 1999,” www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/PAR0202.pdf . Accessed March 2016.
Overclocking is running a processor at a greater speed than its specification, which causes the processor to generate more heat. Many processors have settings for overclocking, but the chip manufacturers warn against it. Computer game enthusiasts overclock their computers to improve performance, but they add extra fans and other cooling devices to protect the processor from overheating and burning out. Overclocked and undercooled processors can be served with nachos, although they are neither tasty or healthy.
Samuel Warren, Louis Brandeis, “The Right To Privacy,” Harvard Law Review, Vol. IV, No. 5, December 1890. http://faculty.uml.edu/sgallagher/Brandeisprivacy.htm . Accessed March 2016.
Federal Trade Commission, “Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January to December 2015,” February 2016. www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/consumer-sentinel-network-data-book-january-december-2015/160229csn-2015databook.pdf . Accessed March 2016.
Bruce Krebs, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Security Freeze,” Krebs On Security, June 15, 2015. http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/06/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-embrace-the-security-freeze/ . Accessed March 2016.
Federal Trade Commission, “IdentityTheft.gov.” www.identitytheft.gov/ . Accessed March 2016.
On cloudy days, the lights went on a few minutes earlier.
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