Saturday 25 June 2011

5 min blog post - we are not secure

Lulzsec and the census. They had hacked the census, they hadn't hacked the census, someone else had hacked the census, then they hadn't.

So what did we learn?

The census bods reacted quickly and with restraint in responding to the rumours spreading like wildfire across the web.
It is easy to spoof (pretend) someone elses identify and lulz are not immune to that (a taste of their own medicine?)
No one is secure if identify is tied into security
The web is not secure if even leet hacker types can be spoofed

But that's not the point, really.

The point is, we are not secure. I can phone someone and pretend to be someone else with the right details. I can walk into a post office, claim my dole money, and then be forced to hand it over to someone else waiting outside who has been bullying me. Someone can cut through the straps of my handbag while I'm walking down the street and steal my purse with my credit card in it.

We are not secure. Our lives, in real time, are not secure. So why, why, why, do we labour under the expectation or illusion that online should somehow be different? It is not different. There are still bad people. There are still smarter people than you. There are still people fighting the good fight to try and stop the bad people from stealing our identity, your money, your ideas even. But not your lulz.

We are not secure. We are at the mercy of the entirety of society and it's self imposed expectations of peer enforced ethics and morals. The web does not suspend this.


  1. No, we are not secure in the physical world and should not be surprised that we are insecure on the virtual world. But I don't think that's the reason for the excitement, it is that physical insecurity is usually retail, while virtual insecurity can be wholesale. The mugger after your bag can only get one credit card at a time, the hacker after a bank can get thousands.

  2. The closest I can come to real world comparisons is steaming by gangs but it doesn't really scale.

    It would be awful of me to say 'did no one think of this before'. I don't know the answer. Because nothing is secure.