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2012 Predictions: Big Brother Seems Smaller + Piranha Attacks

In the conclusion to Traenk's series of 2012 predictions, he wonders about the impact of so many technologies and trends.

This is a very difficult blog to write.  I have two predictions, first on piranha attacks and the second on societal domination.


Piranha are small fish that attacks its prey, with school members chewing a small bit of flesh with small bites and razor-sharp teeth.  This small, but intense, division of labor can strip down a steer to the bones in seconds.  I think the hacking community has embraced that approach to hacking.  Expect to read stories of small, seemingly unrelated, attacks that seem to strip an organization's information in minutes from several directions at once.  The first signs will be deepening and more effective attacks on security vendors.  As we learn in my field quickly, to attack the information, the control channel attack is first and foremost.

Your countermeasures will be difficult to implement because the attacks are staged to either stop or to divert attention.  Your organization's members won't complain of oddly locked up passwords and applications because these will be staged to resemble the past system failures.  Governance will never be more key, but that seems a difficult hurdle to overcome in most environments, with economies (and connectivity) now on full throttle, after the lengthy, global economic downturn.


Orwell was not the first, but he seemed one of the better predictors of societies that increasingly control the media.  Censorship is often less overt than that predicted in many sci-fi novels.  It can be the morphing and re-interpreting of events to reshape them into nice banner ads people will want to quickly click.  By 'selling' the news rather than reporting it, we seem to have some restricted societies locked into a self-inflicted Happy Land, one that has the State directing all thought towards its interpretation of the State.

As the official news 'organs' collapse into singular media Dark Stars, owned by a handful, some feel that this too, is the free market version of implicit Censorship.  But is it?

I think not.  Whether the blogs on Blogspot or the videos on You Tube, people seem to be participating in news reporting much like the original leaflet printers of the 18th century.  Any story needing more research can be viewed or read not only at CNN.com; but Reuters.de or the BBC itself.  And beyond these are thousands of sites, rife with conspiracy theories, scuttlebutt, and euphemisms aplenty--certainly enough information to make the publisher of Poor Richards Almanac and the Silence Dogood letters proud. 

And why are people increasingly flocking to these more participatory, ad hoc, and yes, inaccurate info-sites?  The traditional media are increasingly seen as ad sites, and this, taken with the scandal cause by news agencies hacking for information, has us all less trusting.

Will the new sites be commandeered by restrictive States, States that twist these fast-info sites (McMedia) into propaganda sites?  I'm just not sure.  Today's Internet seems a vast anaconda of practice and information to compromise, but computers (and intentions) only seem to get bigger and faster.  Will some in the world get actual results or those snippets returned by State-run transparent proxies?

No, these are interesting and somewhat troubling predictions to make.  This written, the nice thing about my life in my country and in these blogs is this:  I can make these predictions without worry that some leader will see threats where none exist.  Were I in North Korea? 


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