The Misconceptions of Anonymous, Pirating and Security in 2012

hacktivist anonymousThe consumer has become a central figure in today’s digital world, where we support brands with the click of a Facebook “Like” button and provide semantic details through Tweets.  Thanks to recent developments in the realm of big data, our consumer behavior is becoming more of an asset by the day, encountering a number of privacy issues along the way.   John Casaretto, contributing editor for SiliconAngle, recently did a recap of the top consumer and privacy related news from the past 12 months in a session hosted on the SiliconAngle’s Newsdesk for the holidays (full video below).

Casaretto begins by addressing the recent activities of Anonymous, a hacktivist collective that gained a lot of attention in 2012. He says that while their agenda has helped raise awareness for internet freedom and lackluster security in the enterprise, the end doesn’t always justify the means. Anonymous was involved in many controversial attacks that, more often than not, affected the unsuspecting end users of targeted organizations in one way or another.

Casaretto goes on to mention the $60,000 prize that Google recently awarded a hacker for discovering a Chrome exploit. His take is that this approach to crowdsourcing can prove to be a very valuable strategy in increasingly complex technological environments where a problem may be discovered eventually, but not before hackers use it to their advantage.

The second big topic Casaretto chooses to focus on is the Megaupload shutdown, in context of Kim Dotcom’s upcoming venture. The internet entrepreneur plans to launch a new file sharing site  in 2013 that, based on early descriptions, will be rather accommodative of illegal content uploads. Authorities will have to bypass many legal and technological barriers to take down the provocative new service, but not before tackling all the existing issues.

Former Megaupload users are demanding that their legitimately uploaded files and data be returned to them, and some have taken their claims to court. Casaretto stresses that the legal consequences of this move will be significant.

Lastly, he brings up Flashback. He says that the trojan – which managed to find its way to 700,000 Macs on the back of Java vulnerability – served as a much-needed wake-up call for many users who held the misconception that their Apple computers need not to be protected.

See the entire segment below: