Have you ever wondered what happens to your credit card number when it's sent through a "secure" server to Yahoo or Amazon? Have you ever wondered: Is my data safe? Unfortunately no activity on the Internet is private or secure. Anything stored on a home system is completely vulnerable to the outside world (unless of course the system is isolated from the Internet).
Another thing to think about is the fact that any data on any type of disk can be salvaged. So if a corrupt disk is discarded, the data can be recovered with the right tools. The same is true with computer hard drives, flash memory, compact Disks etc... There are actually people who recover data for their income. These people usually don't discriminate against one customer or another they just extract the data and hand it to them on a silver platter.
In the movie The Net Ms. Bennett (Sandra Bullock) works for a software company. She beta tests and de-bugs programs. She finds dangerous information that ultimately launches her into an epic battle against a group of terrorist hackers, the stakes: her life and identity.
Could this really happen? In theory, someone's life could be screwed up and/or stolen. To gain control of a whole country's databases and networks would require a better-laid plan than the plot in the movie. In order to have access to secure national data; a very powerful decrypting program would be needed, as well as a way to cover up the point of ingress. Having a contact on the "inside" wouldn't hurt either. The movie plot seems a little far-fetched. World domination is not as easy as Hollywood makes it out to be. In the real world most network hacking is used to cover up secret events and information, which could pos...
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...oice is to be careful with the information released to the public, forcing anyone who wishes harm to work for the information.
Electronic security is a false notion, due to the fact that humans created the code or encryption in the first place. So other humans could also think up ways to break or modify other People's work. It is impossible to make a code so amazing that it is unbreakable. If it is invented by a human mind, it can be understood and used by another human mind, in time.
The Net. Screenplay by John Brancato, Michael Ferris. Dir. Irwin Winkler. Perf. Sandra Bullock, Ray McKinnon, Jeremy Northam. Columbia Pictures, Winkler Films. 1995.
Holeton, Richard. Composing Cyberspace: Identity, community, and knowledge in the electronic age. New York, San Francisco, St. Louis: Stanford University, 1998 (Wolves of the plateau. 132-142)
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