Ransomware and hacking | Tacoma Daily Index

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By Morf Morford

Tacoma Daily Index

The problem with hacking and ransomware is that they are a constant threat, but unlike any other, more traditional threat, like fire or theft or sabotage, they are unseen and largely undetectable – and vastly more invasive threats than any of us have ever seen before.

To face traditional threats, like theft or attack, physical locks or increased security (in a direct sense, like visible armed guards) would be effective.

If you thought a disease virus that impacts human health is a threat (and as we all know in 2021, that is certainly true) a digital, information-based virus can be, and is proving to be, an even greater threat.

The great promise of the internet was connectivity. The greatest threat to the internet is also connectivity.

Open access was the point.

Communicating across time zones, national borders, and ethnicities with information accessible to all regardless of race, income, education, position or background was the original hacker’s vision.

“Information wants to be free” was the rallying cry of hackers (back in the 1970s when that was largely seen as a good thing) and, in those now-innocent days, hackers were those off-beat characters, like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniac (Woz) as profiled by Steven Levy in his 1984 book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution.

Levy formulated and summarized the ethics and values of that first generation of hackers with these attitudes and assumptions:

Access to computers-and anything that might teach you something about the way the world works-should be unlimited and total.

All information should be free.

Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position.

You can create art and beauty on a computer.

Computers can change your life for the better.

Sharing

Openness

Decentralization

Free access to computers

World Improvement (foremost, upholding democracy and the fundamental laws we all live by, as a society)

But to quote a phrase, that was then and this is now.

That hacker idealism led to essential development that we all take for granted now, from open-source software (like Linux) and…

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