Tag Archives: social networks

Social Networks: the Force Is Strong with These Ones.


The history of social networks is pretty much like Star Wars. Really! Social networks started out obscure and mysterious, with folks saying, “There’s this new type of site, with enormous capabilities and hidden business opportunities, which no one can estimate at present, but in the future will truly make all people truly connected, free and equal!” It’s pure Eastern-spirituality-influenced George Lucas – about “bringing balance to the Force.” And so it came to pass – social networks became a perfect communication ground for all – ordinary folks, companies, and the media.

Of course, with such a boring script you’re hardly going to get a blockbuster movie :-). Let’s face it, you can’t have folks living happily ever after (and all with equal rights, opportunities, etc., etc.) at the start of a film, can you?! The story needs an insidious infernal plan pursued by dark forces to arise. And – voila! – that’s what we got. Social networks became the medium of choice for games played by the world’s intelligence services and manipulation of public opinion – about which I’ve written and talked plenty before.

So, Star Wars: A New Hope has finished. The next chapter has begun:

The Empire Strikes Back

“Forming public opinion” via social networks has for several years already been practiced rather successfully by governments of many countries, no matter their political traditions or leanings. With so much open and free (no cost) information on the surface – no digging necessary – folks themselves tell all about their news, interesting information, whereabouts, lists of colleagues, friends and professional contacts. And the bizarre thing is that anyone who can access that data – private individuals, companies, criminals, members of a cross-stich embroidery group… (you get the point). The data lies about on the surface and people continue (despite warnings) to put more and more such data on the Internet. But with the many APIs crisscrossing social networks acting as mutagens that speed up the evolution, information uploaded one day on just one network is the next day forever (literally: eternally) indexed in search engines.

At the same time the intelligence services have happily joined social networks – becoming “users” themselves – but with their own agenda, naturally. For ordinary folks social networks are mostly a source of reading matter; for companies they’re a source of – or tool for – sales and marketing; but for intelligence services social networks represent a vital means for protecting state interests, and can also be used as weapons against potential opponents.

More: The vicious circle and Return of the Jedi …

Worse than Cheese: Scary Scenarios Causing Nightmares Now – the Five Main Issues of IT Security.

I recently found myself wondering how many interviews with the press I do every month. Of course the totals fairly helter skelter between months, but in the busier periods the number can get anywhere up to 70! And that’s only spoken interviews, i.e., those done in person or over the phone. If I were to also include e-mail interviews – the number would be just silly.

But I don’t complain. In fact just the opposite – I love interviews! Which reminds me of Richard Branson and his simple rule about interviews: “If CNN rings me up and wants to do an interview with me, I’ll drop everything to do it.” I also follow this rule – to the letter – and not without good reason.

Most interviews are what you’d expect. I get asked lots of questions, I answer them as best I can, and that’s about it.

But in a very few rare instances I get interviewed by a really well read-up journalist, meticulous to the point of hair-splitting, who not only knows all about me and KL and what we do, but also all about the particular narrow topic the interview’s about. By the end of the allotted hour I’m exhausted, the mind’s pretty much frazzled, and I feel like my very soul’s been extracted together with my long-winded answers to the sophisticated questions.

These are the trickiest and most trying kinds of interviews, but also the most useful. Why? Because during such intense sessions the gray matter inside the skull shifts up a gear or three and really gets to work, thinking in new ways and approaching familiar topics from fresh standpoints – to such an extent that after the end of the interview the momentum keeps the ideas coming, leading to all sorts of new insights. All really quite fascinating how creative cognition comes about. And all kicked-off by super-sharp reporters doing their job masterfully. Respect due. And a thank you!

Curiously, what unites such “special” interviews with regular ones is an inevitable question about the most pressing IT Security issues today – something like: “What keeps you up at night (in terms of IT Security hazards)?”! And I don’t get asked this all the time just by journalists in interviews. The question pops up at practically every IT conference I speak at.

And so: as promised earlier, here I’m presenting my List of the Five Main Issues Facing IT Security, in the broad sense of the term.

I should say straight away that I don’t have prescriptions for solving all five issues. The aim of this post is more to identify the problems, let you start to muse on them, and hopefully draw you into the fold of their ongoing discussion by raising your interest, empathy and/or sympathy!

Right, here’s my list:

  1. Privacy
  2. Internet Passports
  3. Social Networks
  4. Cybercrime
  5. Cyberwarfare

More: getting into details …

Facebook Doomsday on November 5?

The recent announcement by the Anonymous hacker group to take down Facebook on November 5 – Bonfire Night – has resulted in a series of online publications and sparked much hot debate.

The story surrounding this announcement seems to create more questions than provide answers.

First of all, the announcement is not all that recent. It went online a month ago, but surprisingly surfaced prominently in the media just earlier this week. However, the reason for this delay is not that important.

More interesting is whether this is a genuine announcement coming from Anonymous. Is it from some hackers pretending to be part of Anonymous? Or from some Anonymous members who are planning an operation of their own? Or is it just a hoax coming from an unknown party using the highly-publicized image of the hacker group for their own goals?

Too many questions – yeah, I know.

And here are the answers >

7 Things Facebook Should Do To Increase Security.

Many Facebook users lack knowledge and experience about how to protect themselves in the social networking environment, which has made the situation worse. Facebook appeals to new Internet users who often lack the computer savvy to identify online threats, and the most vulnerable segment of the audience — kids — have little life experience required to make reasonable decisions. Because of this, I believe Facebook needs to enhance the security and privacy features of its site so the problems don’t escalate out of control. With the help of my colleagues, here are seven key recommendations I believe will make Facebook a safer place

More: 7 Things Facebook Should Do To Increase Security.. . .

Welcome Fellow Twitters!

Good news! I am expanding my social media presence and yesterday just launched a Twitter account. Feel free to follow me on @e_kaspersky. So, this is just a perfect moment to say “Hello world” to the Tweetersphere!

Note to many Russian users who agreed to subscribe to my updates: I am in the process of setting up the Russian language only account and hopefully I will launch it for the upcoming event in Kosmodemyansk (follow the #kozmo hash tag!).

Sorry guys, English and Russian are the only two languages I am fluent in!

Read more > Handshaking with Mikko

Talk To Your Children About Privacy in Social Networks. Now.

No geeky computer security stuff in this post. No technical details about social networking scams or Twitter worms or malicious Facebook apps or whatever. You can always get this sort of information at first hand from a variety of trustworthy sources like Securelist or Threatpost to name a few.

There is something of a much greater concern I would like to talk about. Our children’s safety on social networks.

Read more > Stats & tips

Vanya is back home safe and sound. Thanks for your support!

First of all I would like to thank all of you for your support during the recent events related to my son’s kidnapping. We received thousands of e-mails, phone calls, social media messages from all around the world expressing your concern and sincere sympathy, which I do appreciate and value. The community support gave us the strength to get through these hard days …

More: Vanya is back home safe and sound. Thanks for your support!. . .