Thursday, April 26, 2012

Welcome to the Digital Age

I just read in the news that Cryptic Studios, the owners of Star Trek and Champions Online have discovered that they were hacked in late 2010. I laughed for a second, when I read it that it taken them so long to realize they had an issue. I've played those games and so I was not surprised to read an email about how my information could have been jeopardized. It wasn't nearly a year ago when a European Commission said that cyber warfare won't be an issue until 2030. Even back then I think the whole internet looked in askance at such a bold and obviously shortsighted statement. Trust the Europeans to be oblivious to reality I thought. 

Then of course came the Anonymous and their rage against the machine. News of US v. Iran cyber-warfare dropped as well. Hacking and its counterpart Cyber Security is becoming big business and certainly big news. Even the video game arena hasn't been unscathed. It seems like every major company has been hit with a hacking scandal. From Sony's PSN, to Microsoft's oddly quiet Xbox Live troubles, to Valve's Steam, and the list goes on and on. Anyone who has read the works of cyber punk pioneers like William Gibson, shouldn't be surprised. In fact the only thing that should surprise us is that it took so long. Still, it saddens me. Getting hacked is like being robbed in a lot of ways, its not just the ordeal of proving your you but the tiredness that comes from realizing that all those hundreds of hours could go up in smoke. When I got my World of Warcraft hacked the first time, I was so angry. Someone had violated my very personal avatars. I'd played the game on and off for years. Luckily Blizzard customer service was really good about. I got a authenticator on my Iphone and figured I was all solid. When I got hacked the second time, there's wasn't even any emotion left. I sort of sighed and then quit thinking about it all together. I had stopped playing months before, and while I wondered how someone got my account activated without paying money, I just didn't care.

I know most of the internet is good for us as a race. The more we know about each other the less we'll eventually hate and fear about each other. But until then, I'll just keep my passwords changing every month. I'm reminded of the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz movie Knight and Day, 'When they say you're safe and secure, that's when you're not'. Welcome to the Digital Age.

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