AuthorSteven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Will World War III begin in cyberspace?

People die because of cyber wars, even if no bullets are ever fired. Instead, they die in emergency rooms that no longer have power, from broken medical communication networks, and from riots. All of this has happened before. It will happen again. And now, with Russia poised to invade Ukraine and Russian cyberattacks already in motion, we can only hope and pray that what promises to be the first major European war since World War II doesn't spark the next World War.

If it does, I fear the proximate cause won't be Russian T-90 main battle tanks trying to smash their way into Ukraine's capital, Kyiv. It will be the Russian GRU Sandworm hacking group launching a cyberattack that perhaps wrecks the European Union power grid; or knocks out major US internet sites such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft; or stops 4G and 5G cellular services in their tracks.

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Will World War III begin in cyberspace?

People die because of cyber wars, even if no bullets are ever fired. Instead, they die in emergency rooms that no longer have power, from broken medical communication networks, and from riots. All of this has happened before. It will happen again. And now, with Russia poised to invade Ukraine and Russian cyberattacks already in motion, we can only hope and pray that what promises to be the first major European war since World War II doesn't spark the next World War.

If it does, I fear the proximate cause won't be Russian T-90 main battle tanks trying to smash their way into Ukraine's capital, Kyiv. It will be the Russian GRU Sandworm hacking group launching a cyberattack that perhaps wrecks the European Union power grid; or knocks out major US internet sites such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft; or stops 4G and 5G cellular services in their tracks.

To read this article in full, please click here

Why are your IT people so miserable? Log4j2itis

Instead of holiday toasts, do you hear screams and moans from your server room? Are your IT people sobbing inconsolably even when Amazon Web Services (AWS) is running? Do you walk over sleeping system administrators and developers when you get to the office?

If that's happening to you, let me explain what’s happening. Your IT people — a lot of IT people — are suffering from Log4j2itis.

You may have seen some general news about it over the last couple of weeks, as even general news sources are picking up that it's bad news. As Jen Easterly, director of the the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said: "The Log4j vulnerability is the most serious vulnerability I have seen in my decades-long career."

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Ransomware is a threat, even for the smallest of businesses

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “My business is too small for a cyber crook to bother with me.” Oh, my friend you are so, so wrong. No company is too big or too small for a ransomware dealer to come knocking at your virtual door.

A recent report from Webroot, The Hidden Costs of Ransomware, found the vast majority—85%—of managed service providers (MSPs) have reported attacks against small and midsized businesses (SMBs). Despite that appallingly high number, just 28% of SMBs consider ransomware a worry.

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Stop looking over my shoulder!

Prospect, a 150,000-member U.K. trade union for technology professionals, recently reported that nearly one in three U.K. workers is now being monitored by their employer both at the job site and in their own homes. This is not acceptable. And it never has been.

As Prospect General Secretary Mike Clancy said, “We are used to the idea of employers checking up on workers, but when people are working in their own homes, this assumes a whole new dimension. New technology allows employers to have a constant window into their employees’ homes, and the use of the technology is largely unregulated by the government. We think that we need to upgrade the law to protect the privacy of workers and set reasonable limits on the use of this snooping technology, and the public overwhelmingly agrees with us.”

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Windows 11: Just say no

It will be one thing, say, later this year or in 2022, to buy a new PC with Windows 11. We can be reasonably certain that Windows 11 will run on your new Dell, HP, or Lenovo PC. Maybe some of your drivers and programs won't run, but Windows 11 itself? No problem.

But, if you want to update your existing computers, especially those that have a few years on them — that’s another story. It's difficult to know whether any given computer will run Windows 11, which arrives Oct. 5. Yes, there's Microsoft's PC Health Check app and other programs to determine whether you can run Windows 11. But Microsoft pulled it the first time around and I'm none too sure how reliable it is this time around.

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