Any system that is connected to the Internet is always subject to threats, no matter how well it is protected. This assumption is well known to any teenager today. No software barriers can fully prevent human errors in a program code or user behavior.
That’s why devices that have functions of special importance, or that contain top-secret information, are usually not connected to the Internet. It is always better to accept inconvenience than face unpleasant consequences. This is how, for example, control systems for large industrial objects or some bank computers are protected.
It may seem that going offline completely will keep any secret safe: if there is no Internet, then there is no data leakage. However, that is not the case. Remote data transfer techniques adopted by secret services long time ago become more accessible each year to ‘commercial’ users. Quite a few spy gadgets at James Bond’s disposal are…
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The NSA, like GCHQ, has studied Kaspersky Lab’s software for weaknesses. In 2008, an NSA research team discovered that Kaspersky software was transmitting sensitive user information back to the company’s servers, which could easily be intercepted and employed to track users, according to a draft of a top-secret report.
The information was embedded in “User-Agent” strings included in the headers of Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, requests. Such headers are typically sent at the beginning of a web request to identify the type of software and computer issuing the request.
According to the draft report, NSA researchers found that the strings could be used to uniquely identify the computing devices belonging to Kaspersky customers. They determined that “Kaspersky User-Agent strings contain encoded versions of the Kaspersky serial numbers and that part of the User-Agent string can be used as a machine identifier.” They also noted that the “User-Agent”…
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I realize that I am using a controversial example to illustrate the point of this post, so let me start by making this perfectly clear: I oppose slavery — in every form!
That said, it is a matter of fact that the North was in the wrong, and the South was (is) justified to call it “The War of Northern Aggression.” The right to secede from the Union was clearly stated by the men who wrote and ratified the Constitution. But, because the South seceded over the issue of slavery, the issue has become so clouded by emotion that no one can see that the Civil War really was about States’ rights.
Let us first understand that the founding fathers understood that the States were free to leave the Union:
If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation… to a continuance in union… I…
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