Yes, it’s Halloween and along with that comes the scary ghost stories and tales of zombie apocalypses.
But don’t think that you’re alone in experiencing the spine chilling horrors of the netherworld. We techies and security professionals experience it every single day.
Back in the early days of radio, (for you youngsters that was way before streaming video) there was a show called, “The Shadow.” Older readers may remember hearing the intro from their parents or grandparents. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”
I wonder if the Shadow was foretelling the future of security?
But let me tell you a chilling Halloween story of my own.
Ghosts are believed to exist in a state of being between two worlds – ours and the afterlife. The shadow beings that I know of first hand live between two worlds too – visible and invisible cyberspace.
While we go about our daily business, posting on this social network here, and on that social network there, the evil hearted men and women of this new economy lurk in the shadows of cyberspace feeding their new breed of beast – the privacy snatcher!
This vile beast has an insatiable appetite for data. It devours personal information in an eating frenzy that would make a Tyrannosaurus Rex look like a starving model.
It prowls the social forest in its camouflaged plumage, hiding from the hunters that seek to destroy it. These brave hunters are known throughout the ages and their names are spoken with great reverence & respect – security software vendors & governments.
Many a good intentioned person has fallen victim to their whiles. Innocent startups who have been lured by their siren song promising wealth and untold press coverage if they will only sell their soul (and customer data) to the Master. Yes, the Master is more evil than one could imagine in their worst nightmare!
These victims worship at the Masters’ alter – a golden bull. They succumb to the screams for “more” of the master’s congregation and forfeit any shred of decency and self-respect they have in an effort to keep the Master and his followers satisfied and well fed.
And alas, even the hunters have been duped by the Master! For the hunters only seek to find those snatchers who are left in the wild, unprotected by a pack.
Those privacy snatchers still left in the wild have self-preservation as their driving force. Their magical powers allow them to duplicate their food which provides them an unlimited supply to resell to other snatchers over and over and over again – always with horrifying results.
Their victims are left stripped bare, crying in the streets for justice and protection from the privacy snatchers. But the hunters must be very careful what they provide and who they pursue as not to upset the Master or his congregation.
Yes, this is the nightmare and chilling tale of horror security professionals live through every day and night. And if you talk to anyone of us at length, you’ll find out that there are nights we can’t sleep because of the nightmares that haunt us.
And this is a true horror story you can tell to your children and grandchildren because the privacy snatchers are breeding at record rates.
Image Source: iStockPhoto
And if you’re so inclined to hear an episode of The Shadow, here’s part of 1 of a 3 part episode.