“Steal This Book” — the Sequel
Now intellectually — rationally — I know this is just plain wrong. It’s WRONG! But Goddamnit, my Inner Sickfuck thinks it's hilarious.
Across the country, thousands of high-ranking executives have been receiving bogus e-mails pretending to be a subpoena. If this person clicks on a link in the e-mail, he/she will be downloading spyware that allows hackers to access passwords and other private company information. Gotcha!
Isn’t this already common knowledge? I thought everybody who knows how to click a mouse had already heard thousands of warnings. Don’t open an e-mail if you don’t recognize the sender’s name. Don’t click on any links that you’re not 100% sure of, or you might be downloading some malicious software. Etc.
Where have these VIPs been? And what are they gonna do next, walk across the street without looking both ways? Wash their hands and then turn off the bathroom light switch while their hands are still wet?
My guess is, when you rise to a certain high level, you get so used to being pampered and coddled and sheltered and babysat by a slew of underlings that you can’t even wipe your ass any more. (Anybody hear Lewis Black’s monologue about hiring a ballwasher? But I digress.)
About the title of this post: If you’re younger than a certain age (mid to late 40s maybe), “Steal This Book” is probably just some meaningless phrase. If you’re old enough, Steal This Book will bring back those halcyon memories of anti-Vietnam war demonstrations, acid rock, blacklight posters, and various drugs that went hand in hand with those last two items.
It was Abbie Hoffman’s most popular book — hundreds of ways for an angry revolutionary to fight the Fascist Power Structure by ripping off The Man (using a little ‘60s terminology). It’s an entertaining book, as dated as it is. (Yes I bought a used copy of the book a few years ago.)
And now Abbie Hoffman can smile from his grave: hijack an executive’s computer and steal all sorts of secret corporate information. A few years ago Spin Magazine had an article about Hacktivism: politically-conscious computer hackers using their skills for noble political goals. I don’t remember reading or hearing anything else about it since that article, but maybe it’s finally catching on.
Instead of phishing, this article uses the term Whaling. Phishing generally means sending out zillions of bogus e-mails, hoping that a certain percentage of gullible people will fall for that scam or click on that link. Whaling means going after a certain big fish — for instance the CEO of a certain company.
VIPs have done a brilliant job of shielding themselves from the real world. They can totally block out the riffraff while they’re being chauffeured around from the gated community to the boardroom to the yacht club. But they have an Achilles Heel — their computers.
cross-posted at Bring It On!