In the recent hit movie Furious 7, the storyline revolves around the acquisition of a hacking system known as "God's Eye" that is capable of finding and tracking anyone in real time. Both the U.S. spy agencies and an adversarial spy agency (it's not clear who the adversary is, but the location is "beyond the Caucasus mountains," which could imply Russia?) desperately want their hands on this system.
Seldom in recent history has a cyber security event caused so much media stir (maybe because it happened to a media company?) and international relations upheaval. Cyber security breaches seem to take place daily of major corporations, but the Sony hack seems to have captured the American imagination and, for that matter, the whole world's attention.
In recent years, Hollywood has taken a shine to hackers, with hackers appearing in almost every heist or mystery movie now. This can be both good and bad for our profession. As we know, whichever way Hollywood decides to depict our profession is how most people will perceive it.
It seems like every day now that we see a new headline on a cyber security breach. These headlines usually involve millions of records being stolen from some large financial institution or retailer. What doesn't reach the headlines are the many individual breaches that happen millions of times a day, all over the world.
Each day, we read about another security breach somewhere in our digital world. It has become so commonplace that we hardly react anymore. Target, J.P. Morgan, iCloud, Home Depot, and the list goes on and on.
People who know that I am a professional hacker often ask me what they can do to make their computers and personal information safe from people like me. The answer, of course, is that nothing will make you completely safe, but there are a number of measures any computer user can take to reduce the chances of being a victim of a hacker.