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Hacking headlines point to growing discussion of cybersecurity

Another breaking story has put hacking and cybersecurity in the international spotlight. “If you woke up and saw swastikas on Twitter this week, here’s why,” wrote USA Today.

The breach, which was covered by media outlets around the world, was massive. This time it included the hijacking of hundreds of Twitter accounts, posting Nazi messages and swastikas across high profile Twitter feeds for everyone from Justin Bieber to Forbes Magazine and BBC North America to boxer Floyd Mayweather.

The sheer number and broad range of accounts that were infiltrated pointed to the scale and influence of a pro-Turkey campaign in Europe. Meanwhile, the lack of security for high profile brands also hit home to show just how easy it is to compromise brands, messages and far-reaching communication.

Cybersecurity and identity theft is a growing concern.

Is anyone safe anymore? Just last week, in what was believed to be the largest leak of C.I.A. documents to-date, WikiLeaks revealed a large-scale program whereby the government agency could hack into smartphones, computers, internet-connected televisions and, as the Washington Post reported, even connected cars.

The fact that this technology exists has been a talking point surrounding digital identity protection for BizCom client Solera Holdings for some time. Solera Founder, Chairman and CEO Tony Aquila made it his message in his Data Privacy Day speech at Twitter headquarters earlier this year. Watch his full speech HERE.

BizComPR client Solera Tony Aquila cybersecurity interview

Photo credit: Solera

Driving the story: connected cars are the new frontier in threats to data privacy.

Tony shared that most, if not all, vehicles will have IP addresses by 2020, making them hackable with different levels of intrusion. His speech garnered national attention and sounded the alarm for technology writers to begin looking deeper into the data and connectivity of cars proliferating the roads today.

Reporter Troy Wolverton’s headline in The Mercury News summed it up: “Cars take place with PCs and smartphones as threat to privacy.” And his article was quickly picked up in several media outlets.

The lingering message is clear. Consumers need to be both educated and in control of their data across their connected devices, including cars that continue to evolve into mobile computers. In addition, the understanding behind the need to “wipe” clean smartphones and computers needs to translate to “wiping” clean the cars that consumers rent, sell or pass on in growing numbers.

As hacking continues to dominate headlines, the threat of microterrorism is real.

The serious nature of identity theft is enough to warrant sweeping warnings to the public at-large. But hacking in general has the potential to go much farther than eavesdropping or posting unwanted tweets. The potential to do real harm exists.

This week, Tony spoke with Michael Kaiser, the Executive Director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, for a story in The Huffington Post and detailed just how important this topic remains.

“For example, if a car’s data fell into wrong hands, a malicious hacker could determine when the car’s owner was out at a bar with friends, take control of that vehicle remotely, drive it somewhere, cause harm to others and return it without the owner even knowing. Then, it would be up to the owner to prove that he had not committed the crime.”

There is, however, an overwhelming optimism that prevails. Because as society navigates the important issues of privacy, safety and the ways to combat hacking, the advances in innovation and technology continue to benefit a more informed world at-large.

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