Tuesday, 21 January 2014

bricolage

As a fairly regular occurrence—one can almost expect at least one data breach per week, customers have become rather inured to the compromise of their vital demographics in the States—not that this attitude has made the majority more cautious or defensive by any measure, but this sort of development, unprecedented but probably, unfortunately a record soon to be toppled, in Germany inspires users and government agencies alike to circle their wagons.

Some sixteen million email accounts had their passwords lifted and authorities are particularly concerned, not over spam and spear-fishing but rather because many people recycle passwords, using similar credentials to access shopping sites or on-line banking. Das Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) in Bonn has even established a help-line. It's not merely the breach of one virtual version of a retailer or networking-group that nearly goes as far as inviting a hack but rather the further-reaching repercussions are realised. One would think that the omnipresence of the American intelligence agencies would have gotten to be really good at prevention or at least persecution of such spillage and pillage, having already exploited system weaknesses, but we probably don't want their help. Those three letter initialisms, however, have become something like the US Secret Service, whose chief charge is not to protect the president but rather to combat counterfeiting of legal-tender, expanded far beyond their original mandate.