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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Russians and Chinese are Infecting an App Near You

The next-best way to hack the world, if you can't hit the supply chain and nail every customer of Microsoft or Adobe with those vendors' software update programs, is to set up "watering hole" infections of far less astute application providers, like:

  1. Your local Chinese restaurant (or any take-out food supplier) who has their own swell application.
  2. Your favorite TV station's weather application.
  3. Your bicycling or other exercise-logging application.
Yes sir, Big Dog. How many times a day do you see automatic software updates on your iPhone, Android, or even from desktop software suppliers. Heck, look at the permissions you grant to the average Android application, and you'll see why today's New York Times story about those pesky Russians deploying Stuxnet-like viri (see the story here) is really REALLY relevant to your lives. Just update your favorite small business application (hey, you get free meal points, just like your airline frequent flyer program), and before you know it Boris and Natasha (or Wen and Hu, see my parody of the Abbott and Costello routine here) will be draining your bank account.

So the next time you consider downloading an online application from the Foo King Chinese restaurant, remember Hu might be infecting all your computers. It's not a question of "if" but a question of…Wen. 

[Note: Check out the above-referenced Abbott and Costello parody if you wonder about that last paragraph.]

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?