The web is fighting back against websites and apps that do not use encryption.
Such services are considered to have good security when they implement a technology known as Transport Layer Security or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which encrypts traffic between an end user and the site. Google, Twitter, Facebook and banks are good examples of this practice.
Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has been scanning every public-facing server in 27 countries for several years to find any weak systems in waht some have described as a 'gargantuan scale' hack.
The agency's so-called 'Hacienda' program, revealed by German publication Heise, started in 2009 when GCHQ decided to apply the standard tool of port scanning against entire nations.
In the 1969 classic The Italian Job, Michael Caine and crew commit a major gold heist by hacking into the traffic light system of Turin, Italy, to cause a massive traffic jam, giving the robbers a perfectly synced path to escape through the gridlock.
As it turns out, this piece of high-action Hollywood theatrics is not merely screenwriter fantasy. According to cyber security researchers at the University of Michigan, pulling off a caper like that wouldn’t even be difficult today.
Much of what passes for privacy concern strikes me as overwrought reaction to minor problems, and completely dismissive of the other side of the story. There's no better example than public security cameras and police-officer body-mounted cameras.
Security strategies generally concentrate on keeping the bad guys out, but British security outfit ClearSwift has stumbled upon another approach: if the bad guys get in, let them out with something. But scrub it clean on the way out the door.
ClearSwift is the latest home for content-screening technologies first developed in the mid-90s by Content Technologies, which made hay when organisations like law firms that were adopting email figured out it wasn't a good idea for confidential files to fly out of their buildings as attachments.