While driving back from Long Island on Monday, February 24, I listened to an absolutely fascinating interview of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Julia Angwin, author of Dragnet Nation, on the issue of privacy and cyber crime.
I was amazed at how easy it is for your personal financial information to stolen if you use mobile phones for your banking transactions – in particular if you use the Android operating system. There was a program on TV recently which showed how your laptop or mobile phone could be hacked within 15 seconds of your activating it in Sochi for the Olympic Games.
Certain hi-tech global firms (and I worked for one such) instruct their consultants / executives going to China / Hong Kong / Russia / Eastern Europe to only carry essential information on a separate PC. Once back in the US these are to be trashed or the drives completely reformatted – the danger of worms and viruses is so great that the danger of contamination is not worth it. BTW those in the US need not be ‘holier than thou either’.
When the People’s Republic of China ordered a Boeing transport for their President, Boeing based in the good old US of A sent the order with so many bugs pre-installed that the Chinese trashed the plane after discovering hundreds of them. Now we in India buying defense hardware from either the US or the Soviet bloc should be fully aware that it is possible that in the era of cyber warfare the sellers can render them non-functional anytime, if they want to.
I hope our Italian barmaid’s Congress Party government in India is doing something about it. When Narendra Modi becomes Prime Minister, let us hope that he brings in some top flight IT cyber crime expert ‘ethical hacker’ types to assist him. The BJP is largely known (ahem!) for good solid Hindutva bhaiyya types of limited education and not for techno nerds of Silicon Valley.