Friday, July 31, 2015

[onzbpjrr] Network intrusion resulting in death

Initially, it might seem one needs to think hard for examples of computer hacking leading to someone's death: one imagines a bad guy hacking into a life support system in a hospital or overriding the computer of a plane or self-driving car.  The Blaster worm may have aggravated the severity of the 2003 Northeast blackout, which resulted in at least 6 deaths.

However, numerous examples abound in plain sight if one removes one's perception filter.  Military intelligence regularly uses network intrusion to discover targets to kill.  Law enforcement hacks in via wiretapping and subpoena (rubber-hose cryptanalysis) to acquire evidence leading to death penalty convictions.  These deaths could have been avoided if the victims used, or could use, better network security.  Do these entities perpetrating these killings deserve to be classed separately from the typical terrorist bogeymen we imagine hacking into systems and killing?

Another category is suicides induced by actions like doxxing, revenge porn, and other internet shaming.

(Inspired by a conversation elsewhere.)

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