Cybersecurity researchers have found that commercially available spy software has been used to infiltrate the activist communities in Pakistan.
As computer users across the globe are aware, digital privacy and data security important for everyone, from the average person to the largest corporation. The ability to prevent data from falling prey to theft or interception is critical for even the average person, and even more so for those who wish to protect sensitive data. Most people use encryption to secure data online daily whether they know it or not, but what about your personal computer, and the treasure trove of information held therein?
The digital answer for those who wish to secure their data against theft and prying eyes is encryption, and there are many tools designed specifically for that purpose. Encryption is the use of complex mathematical formulas to make digital data unreadable to anyone that does not have the proper passkey. Fortunately for users, there are many tools available to make encryption very user friendly. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of incorrect information on many of these tools and their proper use. I will attempt to simplify the technical aspects, while providing the reader with a moderate understanding not only of how to use some common tools for proper data security, but also to understand the methodologies behind them and why they do, or don’t in some cases, work against particular threat models.
Activists today have access to technology that many could not even dream of not long ago.
Though many of the issues that plague our society are not new, the ability to record and publicize them easily in near real time is simply amazing. Most of us carry around a mobile computing device in our pocket that is capable of great feats, however this is merely the base upon which to build your toolkit.
The plethora of applications freely available for your use allow you to greatly expand your capability and reach beyond your personal social network, so it is important that you understand some of these tools and how they can help you in whatever fight you choose to undertake, whether it is against the abuse of State agents, a move toward justice for the oppressed, or whatever your calling may be. The first step in fully utilizing your mobile computing device, or “smart phone”, is some basic security measures. I recommend that you read and implement the simple measures introduced in the article “Tradecraft: Phone Security 101”.
As you’d expect, Parliament has a lot of security including screening and police officers armed with G-13s. But that doesn’t mean Parliament couldn’t become a target for the next terrorist attack. Here are six ways ISIS could attack Parliament.
1. Liquid bombs. A liquid bomb plot at Heathrow Airport was foiled in 2006, which indicates that terrorists previously used this tactic in London, so may well use it again. In the House of Lords, one of Parliament’s two legislative chambers, bottled water is not allowed. However, handbags are allowed in the public gallery and are not searched. A liquid bomb could be concealed in a handbag and simply kicked or rolled through the curtain which adorns the lower part of the House of Lords’ public gallery. The same applies to throwing acid or pouring petrol over the railing then throwing down a match.There is no police presence in the public gallery (if there are plain-clothes police, they are too far away to stop such an act).
2. Mass attack. There are no security measures which would stop terrorists gaining access to the public gallery in several groups. As there is no time limit for watching debates, terrorists could arrive in different groups over a few hours until the public gallery is packed with terrorists. Even if all they did was jump from the gallery and land on top of, or use physical violence against, politicians, the psychological impact on the public would be huge, especially as Lords debates are televised. Terrorism is largely about inducing public fear, so this would be a relevant tactic even if nobody was killed or even seriously injured.