This week we discuss how the Belarus government is choosing a dictator and ignoring the rights of their citizens, how Mark Zuckerberg is running after the data of the remaining 3 billion people in the world, and why an ethical hacker is gradually becoming mainstream. Here are some of the top cybersecurity stories from this week.
First they kill the Internet then comes Alexander
Belarus cuts down internet access to almost 10 million of its citizens during the election week. With social media apps like WhatsApp and Telegram under the bus, the government felt that killing Internet access was the right thing to do considering the malware attacks countries have to deal with while conducting fair elections.
According to reports, the internet shutdown occurred due to a DDoS attack or deep packet inspection, an internet blocking strategy, which was used to put a filter on several browsing websites. Even VPNs and Tor browsers were not working at that time and the citizens are blaming the Belarus government for this Internet blackout situation.
Shutting down the Internet of millions of citizens is an act of violence, that’s why 25 human rights groups and even the United States condemn this online atrocity.
#Belarus. What I feel today’s rally also showed is how tired people are. Tired of #Lukashenko, his system and injustice. They are chanting: “Happy birthday, psychopath” and later “The city is ours”. Peaceful, subtle people are simply fed up. How ineffective Lukashenko is pic.twitter.com/goKpMemnDF
— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) August 30, 2020
Belarus telling millions to shut up more effectively… but are they ready for a rebound?
As the Belarus citizens were lining up to throw out Europe’s last dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, the government literally shut down all Internet access, put a filter on major websites (an online leash in simpler terms), and restricted access to WhatsApp and Telegram. This is the new age where dictators can tell citizens to shut up by cutting out Internet access and sway decisions in any direction that they want to.
This is understandable in a country like Belarus where citizens are pissed about the election results, the government denying a vote rerun, and there was almost no communication between citizens via social media apps last week. The Belarus government is putting the blackout dirt on an anonymous DDoS attack, which is just an excuse to fool citizens and have an answer for this Internet outage.
And we, the PureVengers, think this will occur during the 2020 US Presidential Elections and any upcoming elections where the government wants to simply ignore the citizen’s rights and do as they please. No wonder the Belarus citizens are out protesting on the streets because the government has stolen the one weapon every citizen can use against the authority: Their Right to Vote.
Zuckerberg’s “with us or against us” strategy is playing out well
Moreover, Mark Zuckerberg is now targeting 3 billion people who have no Internet access to join the online community. Why is Zuckerberg eager to become a trillionaire… oops we mean a philanthropist who wants to change the world by offering free Internet access to third world countries? The short and most common answer is to get more power and convert non-Internet users into regular Facebook users.
Since 2016, Mark Zuckerberg has been at the forefront for paving the way for free Internet access, and helping regions like India and Africa get the better of his so-called “Free Basics” and “2Africa” initiatives. He also stressed on the fact that how COVID-19 impacted businesses to move their money-making structures online and the reason why free Internet is the need of the hour.
To make a long story short, this can be a shot to make Facebook and Mark’s other venture the front face of the Internet so he can be a driving force behind globalization or become the Chosen One who holds the greatest power: your data.
Facebook has achieved its power—and Mark Zuckerberg has built his wealth—by bulldozing competition, exploiting our private information, undermining our democracy, and tilting the playing field against everyone else.https://t.co/N8P9Xa4BLh
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 15, 2020
No hard feelings but it’s all about data
If you have read the 48 Laws of Power then you might relate Zuckerberg’s strategy to the rule stating, “Despise the Free Lunch.” He is offering free Internet access in exchange for getting his hands on your private data such as your accurate location, relationship status, political influence, likes or dislikes, blood type, or anything you plan on doing in the next year.
This is the sole (horrifying) reason why Mark Zuckerberg has become a beast and runs after every country on Earth to push them to the free Internet campaign, be it in Africa or India or any other 3rd world nation.
This calls for a reason to look after your back and secure your digital life. Previously we, the PureVengers, discussed hackers penetrating computers with no Internet connection as well as social media apps, and the reason why protecting your online privacy must be a priority by now. With Mark’s plan to make Facebook the front page of the Internet (Reddit disagrees), you can at least have some security in place to ensure no one is peeking into your private digital lives.
Forget fancy degrees… Why not become an ethical hacker?
As we discussed above on the importance of data and the Internet, there is a silver lining in all of this Great Plan to Rule the World by gathering data of billions. You can now do an online course to become an ethical hacker and work for a company that wants to protect data from hackers, surveillance agencies, and the NSA (not really from them).
Let us get down to brass tacks and discuss why cybersecurity and specifically ethical hackers are going to be the most sought after job in the coming years. But first, you must look at some insane statistics regarding hacker and malware attacks below:
- In every 39 seconds, an Internet user becomes a victim of a hacker
- Up to 43% of cyberattacks are targeting SMBs (small or medium-sized businesses)
- 90% of smart hackers have safely covered their digital tracks with the help of an encryption
If your mouth is wide open by now out of shock then we can tell you that this is just a small number. And this is going to get much worse as hackers become more lethal and ruthless over time with their techniques whether it is a phishing attack or brute force attack.
So are you already thinking about becoming an ethical hacker and saving the day?
A great career choice but your mom may not like it
Businesses, organizations, and even countries are now forced to use the Internet for creating cash flow, building a good reputation, and maintaining relations with customers. This is where hackers and malware attacks come in to take over the data (or servers) and manipulate the owners to pay a ransom.
Spoiler alert: Ransomware attacks are happening at a higher rate in 2020 and just last week we were discussing Garmin paying $10 million to restore their cloud services.
This means SMEs, business conglomerates, and enterprises are worried about the risk of ransomware attacks, and are now investing in building a security layer around their private networks, servers, and systems. You can play a role in cybersecurity warfare by joining the community of ethical hackers, and you will be on the right side.
To sum up last week’s news in just a few words, we can only say that online security is not a luxury anymore, and investing in the right tools has become increasingly important. And we, the PureVengers, try to help our online communities by sharing industry-relevant information as much as we can and how they can arm themselves against hackers or ransomware attacks.