Update 9/15/17: https://goo.gl/b1shvx
At last, DHS decided to plug a possibly benign hole in our info-armor, by requiring removal of Kaspersky software from government computers.
They only have authority in the executive branch of government, but “the cat is out of the bag,” and NOBODY in the other branches dares defend the cat. I wonder what CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and the rest of the media will do? The “Russia” thing has grown so prevalent, toxic, and taboo, that I bet vodka sales are down, at least vodka made by Russia and it’s satellites. Fortunately, with the exception of borscht, cossacks, and the nested wooden dolls, I cannot think of any other “things” in American society that are possibly associated with Moscow, except maybe Hillary.
Update 7/2/17: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article159342929.html
In the 21st century, anyone in America, without awareness and knowledge of computers, is as vulnerable as a “babe in the woods.” The information age has vaulted into predominance of American’s attention without the benefit of requisite education, warnings, and orientation. And this extends to all the people who, together, run our government.
Unfortunately, computers have become easy to use too quickly, and recklessly; it is like giving a hammer to a baby. Americans can send and receive emails, visit on Skype, download free “stuff,” shop til their fingers or credit cards give out, bare their most intimate and inane secrets and weaknesses, seek love, watch videos, etc.
Americans are as ignorant about “hacking,” as they are about “fracking.” “Hacking” sounds like chopping away at something like wood, or meat. The concepts of computer hacking are not too different, except computer hackers are trying to log in to computer networks by trying to identify an administrative user account; otherwise they test countless combinations of usernames and passwords. They are burglars trying to steal valuable information, such as Ms Clinton-related emails, or damage, or hijack your system for ransom. They look for anyone who has access to everything interesting and “hack” their account.
Hackers count on users being careless and simple in choosing their log in credentials. Sometimes users use their home computers or laptops to connect to their work computers. That means a “hacker” can find out how to connect to other network computers through your computer using your credentials.
How do they get into your system? Through the internet, mostly through email links or attachments, otherwise they use multiple login attempts. Sometimes, seemingly innocent emails or downloads can install software that gives a hacker the keys to everything on your computer, including your identity information, accounts, and financial information.
So, we take steps to protect ourselves with anti-virus, and anti-malware programs. These programs learn and have access to every intimate detail about your computer and its connections to the internet. They are supposed to detect, deter, and destroy any harmful files that come your way. But wait; what if this software is turned against you?
How asleep at the switch, clueless, and careless can we be? Millions of Americans have blithely installed Russian software on our own computers, supposedly, to protect us from malicious intrusions, and we are surprised when we are violated? Really? This software holds the keys to access everything on any computer that uses it, and any computer that connects to it or its networks.
We could have, should have looked beyond the advertising, (even ads on public radio,) and no cost downloads to the company that offers it; but we have not. Even if you uninstalled the software, did it really remove every trace of itself? Or, could it have left some tiny, hidden, latent elements designed to give itself a “back door” to your computer? How would you know?
Anti-virus and anti-malware software is supposed to guard our computers from harm; it has access to everything on our computers and everything from other computers that communicate with; email, surfing, contacts, documents, programs, firewalls, passwords, yes, everything. It is supposed to identify and neutralize threats from people and programs that seek to ransom, destroy, and steal our most valuable, sensitive information. How carefully have we researched the sources of the programs and data we have on our computers?
Did you know that Kaspersky Labs, renowned for its anti-virus/malware powers, is owned by Russians and headquartered in Moscow? Check out this link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaspersky_Lab
I wonder, how many Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Greens have Kaspersky software on their computers? I wonder how many other programs we might have downloaded that could be secret agents for our enemies?