One Billion Hacks By Year’s End

Virus, FBI, Linux

Word broke on the street that hacking attempts throughout the world are going to topple one billion for the year according to NCC Group. 1,000,000,000….that is A LOT of zero’s and it seems that the U.S. Is the most targeted country when it comes to these cyber attacks as there have been over 981 million hacks world-wide heading into the final quarter of the year. Personally I have seen an increase in the FBI Ransomware virus and it cracks me up in how many people fall victim to this blatant scam.

Seriously….if the FBI were suspecting you of having access to child porn….I seriously doubt they are going to lock your PC demanding $200. In fact I’d be willing to be $200 that if the FBI suspected you of child porn….they would be knocking down your door. Yet these uneducated users feel the need to go pay the $200 to have the ransomware virus “removed” only to find out they have been had.

What do you think….sophisticated hackers or idiot PC users?

Cosmo Has Been Grounded

Raise your hand if you have ever seen the movie Hackers from 1995 starring Angelina Jolie. I see you, and you, and you, and… I fell in love with the movie and there was breaking news in regards to a 15-year-old hacker, handle name is Cosmo, who has been convicted of multiple felonies and the sentence by a California judge will have him all but banned from the Internet until his 21st birthday.

I’m not restating the plot to Hackers, but actually giving the details of what broke just a few days ago. Cosmo was a member of the UG Nazi hacker collective but now must stay away from the Internet unless he is being supervised. Like I said I am completely thinking about the movie that came out now nearly 18 years ago but as apparent….is relative today.

Now may I make a suggestion…hello U.S. Government….can you hear me before I type? Instead of setting limitations upon this kid….how about getting him on the Government side? How about having this kid help find loopholes in the world of Cyber Security? Heck, I bet South Carolina wouldn’t have minded utilizing his skills….just saying.

My question for you is what do you think is the appropriate “punishment”? Did he get what he just deserved or should the Government put his hacking skills to work for them?

A Question Needing Answered

So here I am in front of my computer with a heavy heart as I have a decision to make that I’m not for certain how it is going to go. A little over one year ago I came in contact with Ubuntu and have fallen in love with the Linux OS after experimenting with Mint and Puppy Linux. I am now thinking long-term and questioning what is better for me to learn and spend my attention, time, and efforts into learning. Do I go after Fedora as it is very similar to Red Hat or do I stick with Ubuntu?

I know that I could easily set up a dual-boot with Ubuntu and Fedora but I don’t think that is what I want to do. If I do think about my future and the potential careers available I tend to think that I should switch my focus from Ubuntu to Fedora, however, I just do not know. So if you are reading this I would love to hear your input on which distro I should go with. Stay with Ubuntu or make the move to Fedora? I look forward to your responses….

Jimmy Fallon Not Funny- Hackers Agree By Defacing NBC Web Site

So apparently hackers have taken over some pages on the NBC Web Site which includes the page for “Saturday Night Live.” I kind of found it ironic when I read this and decided to troll on over to Jimmy Fallon’s page and lo and behold the picture is what I found. I have to wonder what is going through security officials’ minds as these “hackers” seemingly are stepping up their game. One might have to ask when this will stop and will it ever stop until points are proven?

This brings forth the next question in what points are exactly needing to be made? It is apparent that no individual or organization is safe from what can be leaked out on the World Wide Web. Seeing the defacing of the NBC website though furthers my suspicion of strange and oddball things happening with the election on Tuesday. I just feel there are too many variables left to play and something could happen as Hackers again try to prove a point. We shall see…

US Election and Hackers

I saw something yesterday that seemed pretty interesting especially with the US election occurring in just 3 days. There has been a ton of noise about hackers on the news pretty much everyday and my fear would be the election being hacked just like what has happened in other countries from Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, and South Korea.

If the thought process of the election being hacked isn’t bad enough there was a later article that I read suggesting that some folks in New York would be able to vote via email and I can already see the trouble of where this is leading. I’m curious what will happen if the American voters pull their heads out of their butts and block Obama from a disastrous 2nd term as there have been other reports about how people will riot.

Anyways, it is bound to be a heckuva day on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, as I will be taking off from work that day to watch the election. Hopefully the US Election system has its security systems in place to prevent any kind of breaches. We shall see…

South Carolina On Hook For Only $600,000 in Hacking Fiasco

Word on the street is that one lawsuit has already been filed against South Carolina’s revenue department over the hacking scandal previously written about that state officials still say affects millions of tax returns. Apparently though there is a state law limit that puts the amount that public agencies can be ordered to pay is $600,000 per occurrence. That’s right! All 3.6 million plus involved would be required to split the $600,000 which if my math skills (Calculator) work correctly equates to about 16 cents per individual if every person files.

There is also a class-action lawsuit accusing the Department of Revenue and Governor Nikki Haley of failing to protect the taxpayers from this security breach and all I can think of is ouch. This is definitely bad news for those affected, bad news for South Carolina, and definitely bad news for Governor Haley. I am telling you now that this lawsuit and the lawsuits that will follow is going to get nasty and I do mean nasty.

Sadly Linux Will Not Surpass Windows

So there have been talks about how Microsoft’s big gamble on Windows 8 could be Linux’s big shot and even though I would love to think that Linux can overtake Windows….sadly I know this isn’t true. No matter how much or how badly I would love to have Linux take over the world on PC’s near you…it’s not going to happen. As I read the article though I had to chuckle at the requirements o Slashdot blogger hairyfeet.

The first rant was about drivers and I don’t know if anyone else has noticed it but Windows 8 is having some compatibility issues with wiping out drivers. I love my Ubuntu because once I have my machine tweaked to the way I like it…I can set it and forget it.

The next part shows how much of an idiot this person is as he states that the command line interface (CLI) “has to die, NO excuses…” Are you freaking kidding me? Show me a person that suggests the command line must die and I will show you a person who cannot fathom a life without Windows. I mean seriously if my 76 year old neighbor can learn Linux, anyone can and it’s not always about the CLI.

The next requirement that shows this person’s ignorance is the call for a ‘Help Me!’ button that will allow a “volunteer” to work on her system, similar to Windows remote assistance. Are you kidding me? Seriously? Someone please explain to this idiot that Microsoft employees are not volunteers either yet I guarantee you this person is someone who cannot Google, cannot find solutions on his/her own. This person is someone that others have to do things for them otherwise it wouldn’t get done. Let’s be real here though in that if I have a question and I cannot seem to find the solution through Google then it’s time to create a thread over at Ubuntu Forums because it’s an awesome support group.

I know I have ranted on tonight but it kills me when I hear idiots talking about how great Windows is and how Linux is not good because of how slow it is. I was on vacation for 8 days and I spent 8 days only using Linux machines, and when I came back to work my patience was wearing out as I waited for the Windows machines at work to drag ass along. For anyone who says Windows is better it is for this very reason that I salute you with the penguin! Go Tux Go!

The suggestions from the article I pulled this information from also points to the retailers and how the retailers should suggest carrying Linux.  Yet it needs to be pointed out that these retailers make money by carrying Microsoft/Windows products and there is technically no money to be made from a Linux OS.  It’s all about the Benjamin’s and unfortunately Bill Gates and his Cronies have Linux backed up against a wall.

3.6 Million South Carolinians Hacked

Wow! This is all I can think when I think to the 3.6 million South Carolina Social Security numbers that were recently breached by a foreign hacker. Apparently the individual was also able to get away with around 387,000 credit card numbers and already the South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley, has been trying to be proactive in the manner when it comes to the hack. I have to question how many people are going to lose their job over this vulnerability that was exposed?

I mean c’mon….someone is going to have to take the fall for this and I’m interested in how this story plays out. As of right now over 287,000 people have signed up for credit protection services the state will be offering through Experian at no cost to the citizens or is it? Apparently Experian agreed to cap their fee to the state of South Carolina at $12 million dollars which is a number that is much lower than the retail rate. This credit monitoring is going to be good for one year but is it good enough?

It seems that by doing simple Google research one can find out that stolen social security numbers, credit cards, etc., normally start to surface eight months after the information has been stolen. All I have to say is that one day after the Experian protection expires, these people could be screwed. In other news MSNBC suggests taking out stock in Experian as it could be pretty plentiful with this South Carolina blunder.

Breaking Up with Windows Can Be So Much Fun

Another storybook ending of successfully having someone I know go from the dreaded days of Windows to the glorious days of Linux. Last night I received a phone call from an old friend who was having problems with his PC. Lo and behold the good ole Windows OS was corrupted yet the User accounts did not want to properly cooperate when trying to pull his data off his other windows machine.

Thus when I came over I busted out the big gun of Ubuntu and while I was gleefully gliding around his old hard drive I could sense the intrigue beginning to grow from within my friend. The more and more that I prodded his hard drive for information the more that he prodded me for information about Linux. Before the clock had struck 12 we were well on our way to putting in a new HD for him as well as dumping Windows and going forward with Ubuntu.

Once the install finished we literally needed less than an hour to have his printer installed and working correctly plus a brief tutorial on how to use the wondrous works of Linux. Not even forty-five minutes after getting back to my house I received a text from him that said, “Computer is freaking awesome dude”

To that I say…thank you Linux!

Productive Week In Linux Learning

My presence on this blogging site has not been as prevalent as my presence utilizing Linux and as I write this I am down to one more day remaining on what has been a very productive vacation. Now the word productive has various meanings to others and when I think of the word productive I am speaking largely in relations to the experiences that I have learned in the past week.

If we were to flashback one week ago today I had no experiences with Python. If we were to flashback one week ago today I had no experiences with Scratch. However, what I have learned in the past week has been instrumental in what I need to continue to study if I want to make a career out of my daily experiences with Linux.

Some of you reading this may be scratching your head trying to contemplate what it is that I mean by this but I can tell you that if I was not utilizing Linux and say I was stuck with Windows. Well, there is no way that I would be where I am today in trying to learn Python or even working on creating a simple game for my young girls to play.

Prior to this past week I have been very involved in trying to answer questions on Ubuntu Forums but as the week progressed I found myself trying to focus in on my Python studies. It was not until I stumbled across Learn Python The Hard Way that my interests had been peaked, however, I find myself working on each lesson.

The more scripting I was growing accustomed to the more I had an inkling to design a game for my girls to play. For whatever reasons (the Linux forces at hand), my wife was kind enough to stop by the local book store and what did I find? There was the ideal magazine (Linux User) and on the front cover in clear sight was about designing a game using Scratch in under 60 minutes.  I could almost hear the Angels singing as my eyes read the words and I knew that I knew that this was the magazine my hard-earned cash would be exchanged for.  By doing some simple Google prodding I was able to find a website that provides tutorials for Scratch and once again I must say I am ecstatic at what I learned this week and the opportunities that have come about.

It is now Saturday night and I am currently watching Matilda with my beautiful girls anxiously anticipating when they are in bed so I can begin construction on their new game. A new game that has been made possible by Linux, made possible by all of the supporters of Open Source Software, all made possible the day I broke the Windows chains and took my first step towards freedom with Linux.