Advances in Technology
Advances in technology, communication, and media make it very easy for much of the world to indulge in whatever it is they want at any given time. We now have the ability to stream most any TV show whether it be on your tablet or cell phone. One can also watch mostly any sporting event on these as well as on there computer. However just this small ability has changed technology and even helped make some things obsolete. For instance this is one of the reasons why televisions have become “smart” and basically give you all the possibilities that a computer could. Now on TV people can check and update their Facebook pages, watch Youtube videos, stream Netflix, and surf the web as much as you would like. Is this truly a good thing?, or something that all people actually need, that is up to you to decide, however is having the ability to check your Facebook on your TV really that important? Most would say no.
As we move on in this time period of social networking and constant media access, what it does is it gives people the ability to escape or remove themselves from their actual life.Although escapism can be a good thing, for instance when watching a movie, but is it valuable for a person who’s World of Warcraft character is what matters most to them? The problem is these people lose sense of reality and technology makes it easy for them to do so, and that is what video game companies and many others want. A more involved player means more money. However much of these online games require personal information to be able to get online access or to even play the game which is something people have taken advantage of for years.
As of June 22 World of Warcraft had a dilemma to deal with because many of its users had been hacked by other players. An article on yahoo detailed how hackers used a mobile phone app to ultimately steal the players money in the game.
“Blizzard investigated, and discovered that while “World of Warcraft” itself had not been compromised, its Web and mobile Auction House apps had. On June 23, Blizzard acknowledged the hack.”
This truly is only the beginning of and a small example of where the hacking world is at this time. Similar problems had happened for Xbox 360 users who had their gamertags and personal information stolen, as well as Playstation 3 users who got hit worst. Between April 17 and April 19, 2011, PSN or Playstation network was hacked and ultimately personal data from 77 million accounts was stolen. It was one of the largest security breaches in history, and raised government concern on hacking in general.
Why Hacking is a Serious Threat
The previous information showed how hacking something like a video game console, or computer game can lead to valuable personal information being released and quite possibly sold as well. However what might be a larger threat in the future to all individuals, the country and the government as a whole is the possibility of a cyber attack on the United States energy infrastructure. On March 13, 2012 the New York Times published an article on this very subject stating that..
“During the five-month period between October and February, there were eighty-six reported attacks on computer systems in the United States that control critical infrastructure, factories and databases, according to the Department of Homeland Security.”
James A. Lewis a specialist in computer security issues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies stated that “Much of it is because the technology has improved, and the hackers have gotten better.” Lewis also believes that the country hit rock bottom not only in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in cyber attacks. He sees us as being very vulnerable and states that “You can destroy physical infrastructure with a cyberattack just like you could with a bomb.” This just shows how this issue has been gaining signficance over the past few years as more people not only in the country but in government see this as one of the largest potential risks to the country. For all the entertainment, and advancements technology has given us whether in living rooms or in CIA and FBI headquarters, this clearly shows how it can be used by the wrong people to do harm.
What is Being Done
In July 2012 Senators Joe Liebermann and Susan Collins introduced the “Cybersecurity Act” in hopes to get greater security for many companies who deal with the infrastructure and energy in the U.S. This act would have encouraged companies that operate critical and valuable infrastructure (such as water plants, electric companies and transportation networks) to take steps to boost not only their computer systems and networks but also their security as well. The bills goal was to make it easier for companies to share with the government key information on the cyber threats and hacks they faced or would face. However the bill was ultimately voted down by a vote of 51-47. Harry Reid has been quoted as stating that…
“National security experts say there is no issue facing this nation more pressing than the threat of a cyber attack on our critical infrastructure,” Reid said.”
Technology Gives You The Opportunity To Do With It What You Want
Even 6 years ago, in 2007 Bruce Willis starred in a new Die Hard movie, Live Free or Die Hard, the plot to this movie based around a cyber attack on the United States. It showed how the electricity for whole portions of the country could be shut down, and how money can be taken and stolen in a different form then the usual bank robbery scenes in movies. That was in 2007, and although it is a movie, it showed just how capable hackers are at literally shutting down a whole entire country and economy. Six years later and not much has been done to change our security. So is technology always a good thing, obviously it isn’t, especially when the wrong people know how to use it in ways many of us could never imagine.