When Tim Berners-Lee proposed a world wide web in 1989, did he expect modern conflicts, protests, and revolutions to include cyber violence? You can count on it today. CNN visuals of stone throwing crowds are invariably accompanied by geeks wreaking havoc behind the scenes.
The Syrian Electronic Army covers the flank of Assad’s regime by attacking blogs, opinion sites, news outlets, and anyone critical of their side. Recent victims of the SEA include the Financial Times, Associated Press, ITV London, Guardian, . . . the list goes on.
Google “SEA” and read about ongoing counter-efforts to deny SEA resources for their antics. While interesting, I believe the real kernel of courage in this story comes from the onion. Onion Inc’s Tech Blog details how the SEA hacked the onion. By disclosing their methods, Onion’s techs hope to help you avoid the same fate. Give it a read!
Globe trotting execs are specifically targeted by cyber thieves, both the state sponsored actors and criminal types. Travelers from Australia, Germany, Japan, UK and USA are the favorite targets.
Now that you realize you have a target on your back, what should you do? Advice is available from many sources including several government agencies. Their first point is the obvious one – if you don’t need it don’t bring it. Consider trimming your electronic cargo to the minimum; go light and bring only what is absolutely necessary. Back up your systems and try not to bring critical intellectual property.
The US Office of National Counterintelligence offers a short travel tips guide that every international traveler should review. You might expect warnings about someone looking at your screen, beware of hotel wireless, etc but did you consider,” If a customs official demands to examine your device…. assume that it has been copied…?”