We all like to talk about how much information is available online. But every so often, a tremendous amount of sensitive information is leaked or even stolen — and the consequences can be serious. In recent months, various people around the world have been hacked, exposed and potentially humiliated. Take Ashley Madison, the notorious affair-finding service, for example. According to a new report, victims have paid millions of dollars to prevent their details from getting on the Internet. So what does this news say about the state of privacy online? Not a lot.
“One thing we know for sure is that terrorists are well prepared to exploit breaches of confidential data and we must all be well prepared to prevent and detect them,” Nigel Inkster, the head of international operations at security company Verisk Maplecroft, told the Guardian.
Tabloid hacks of celebrities and politicians could become a regular thing. Indeed, the Chibok kidnappings by Boko Haram were just the latest example of the Islamist group’s ability to use stolen information to communicate.
This isn’t the end of it, of course. Experts have recently warned that hackers may soon be able to transmit EMPs, or electromagnetic pulses, from the sky. They could knock out the power grid, making Twitter unusable for a very long time.
We can all expect to be able to get our information any time from now, as mobile computing gets smarter and hackers find new ways to circumvent security mechanisms.