When I was a young adult, a modem had just been invented, that didn’t need suction cups, and a 70’s shape phone handle to be placed in the cups for an naudio tone to squell at 300 bad to a computer at the other end of the phone line.
Your computers could connect, one at a time per phone line, and receive text at a speed just slightly slower than you could read.
The cool thing was, you could actually watch it by watching the red light flash for each bit.
Well, in truth, probably not for each bit… but you could clearly see when your computer sent or received anything. If you were sitting down reading and ebook, and the lights started flashing, you’d know something was up.
Computers were connected by choice, not by default.
Today, our computers can run hundreds of tasks at once, and the internet has evolved to a dedicated connection. Every program on your computer, tablet or phone, can communicate with anyone anywhere in the world without blinking a single red light.
Some network cables and Internet modems (mis-named for todays technmolgy) have lights, but they never syop blinking, as long as the computer is on. We can’t usually tell the difference between idle, and heavy use. We ignore it, for the most part.
Knowing this, how hard is it to conceieve that any program can connect to a remote destination, and run background tasks on my computer, stealing my usage data, demographic data, coices, cpontacts and passwords.
Truth: if I or most of this comutyer generation lose a computer to theft, a valuable resiurec of evil-usable information exists.
So why steal the computer, when the information is available to me, and thousands like ,e. Millions.
Every iphone or android phone these days, has a friont facing camera. There is virtually no monitoring or virus protection in use. Programs are checked by Apple, but it’s a system that is easy to get around.
So lets imagine a world with some extra evil in place, and try to figure out how that imkaginary world, fits in ours.
I write a game. It’s a good game, and I spend $20,000,000 in advertgising it. Every Android and iPhone andMac and PC download it week one.
The game plays, and is gloriously fun for a few weeks.
However, hidden within the game code, is the option to download the second level, and with that level, it downloads a program that instaklks itself on your computer. This program knows all your web passwords instantly, because you’ve let your browsers save them. It knows your email passwords, and in ntuyrn,m and passwords you have in written emails still in your mailboxes. Every password rfemionder and regoistration email you’ve saved.
In my case, I don’t delete any email. I have every one for a decade, including the spam.
The program also detects when you’re typing and canb turn on the webcam, that most phones have, or will have soon, all laptops have, and a great many PC’s have – pointed right at your face as you type.
It can even monitor your keybvoard, screen and face as you work. It could conceivable, without detection, retransmit your life at the computer, to somebody else, as a TV show or movie.
Now. Who’s to say it hasn’t.
So smatrt people… what do you do? You out-think the evil by creating your own evil. Without panicing the billions of people, whon would surely go ape-shuit over not being told their precious lives were not so private.
I propose, the industry invents the virus… at least in public, by name.
It creates virus detectors, and both the fictional viriuese they created to generate a market are killed, but so are the real, hidden spy-ware tools too.
People often wonder why viruses are invented. I believe there are three reasons.
One needs to see if, and prove it can be done. This could be tio brag, to score points and impress, or merely toi test. To test your weapon with a public, silly named scare-based trial, and everybody talks about it and you can actuall count and see it’s reach.
They could also just be like hackere tags. WE have the technology, This time we made a sily virus that turned your screen backwards, and we tagged it. It hit 5 million machines.
It would be silly to accept that a virus can get on your computer if it wants to. You say YES to a lot of web based forms. Any download can be a payload.
Oh look, a Zeppelin: it’s also cool to think that EVERY “yes I understand” click you make on the web, COULD be taking a snapshot of your face. Wow that would surprise you in court.
I think the same about spam. I believe a lot of it seems to be tests, either for spam software or viruse payload. Many emails that pass through my spam filters have nothing on them that I would really want to sell or buy, but any imjage that opens, can be counted and rercoreded by IP address and location. Spammers know exactly how many people open their makil, and how many would click a link without knowing it.
Every day I get a dozen or more messages that try to get me to clikc a lonk or open a spyware bomb. Many are impressive looking. I admit to having been fooled a few times. I open all kinds of things I tell my friends not to do.
Who knows what my computer is doing. I wave at the webcam now and then.