Call me paranoid, but it feels impossible to secure computers

Posted By on June 16, 2019

My good friend Jeff Pitts, a network and IT expert, and most recently IT cybersecurity expert, constantly update me with the latest threats to computer servers. He manages the computers and networks for a Cincinnati-based international linux-servercompany that is constantly under bombardment from hackers. Most of the attacks are directly from China and according to experts who track, they work directly for the Chinese communist government. Last year his company was under a full audit and an extensive investigation by the FBI and Homeland Security. Jeff received enough education that he has been invited by other business groups and companies to speak on the subject. He continues to receive regular briefings and updates from our government and often relays some of the information to me that might be helpful in hardening and securing the servers I manage (although it just makes me paranoid).

SSLLabs190614

I’d like to say that having the information makes me more informed, but instead it really it makes me realize just how vulnerable small companies and individuals are to cyber threats, especially on the scale of state supported cyber spying and hacking. On a lighter note, most of my business is not “heavily” targeted since there are no trade secrets or intellectual property … or even enough dollar value for blackmail. I would still like to believe most vulnerable areas are up to date and that I’ve taking a few basic precaution where fiscally possible.

There are a few helpful “simple” places to go to at least check your server security – see Qualys SSL Labs (the report on MyDesultoryBlog.com above), and as always, update your computer (servers) regularly, use strong passwords and secure practices.

If you are feeling smug about “your” Internet security … or just want to see the kind of Manhattan-like Project that China and other state players are working on, read this June 4, 2019 WSJ article (YIKES!!!):

The Day When Computers Can Break All Encryption Is Coming

OG-CT634_201906_NS_20190605112431Quantum computers will be able to overpower current encryption within a decade. That has security experts scrambling to come up with new ways to protect our data before it is too late

National-security experts and politicians have a message for America: A significant portion of the sensitive data we have today is going to be cracked by foreign powers in the not-too-distant future, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

But we might be able to stop them from decoding the data we produce down the road, if we act quickly enough.

The danger comes from an ultrapowerful and still-experimental technology called quantum computing—which leverages the quantum properties of atoms to quickly compute problems that no conventional computer could crack. China has already launched the equivalent of a Manhattan Project in order to achieve this end, say experts, and companies like Google, Microsoft and IBM are all pushing ahead with their own efforts to create quantum computers.

Quantum computers, which are still in the very early stage, could revolutionize any number of real-world tasks, from researching new materials to picking the best route for delivery drivers. But right now, what many experts worry about is the problem of security.

“Whoever gets to true quantum computing first will be able to negate all the encryption that we’ve ever done to date,” Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, has said.

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  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
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