As 2014 thuds to a close, cyber attacks are making big news.
This Christmas, many were surprised when they saw a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One under the tree. But even more shocking for them was the denial-of-service attack that had taken down the networks for both consoles.
It could happen sooner than you think, too.
In fact, I predict that 2015 is the year that the general public will be able to read the personal emails of several members of Congress.
First up: Speaker of the House John Boehner.
Security Threat on the Hill
The current protection (or lack thereof) of the government’s systems is a huge red flag.
A recent presentation by the FBI explains why the Federal government is so absolutely defenseless to any cyber threat.
According to the FBI, the tactics used in the attack on Sony Pictures would have evaded 90% of the security protocols used to protect Congress and other government agencies.
The U.S. House of Representatives is finally instituting a protocol I’ve recommended for my readers for over a year. To access the email system in the House, you’ll now need to change your email password every 60 days. This is a pain, but it’s one of the only tools you have to protect yourself.
Another of my recommendations is also gaining traction on the Hill: Never write an email you wouldn’t be comfortable reading on the front pages of the newspaper. I’ve attempted to follow this advice for a few years now, and I recommend you adopt this strategy, as well.
If you want to say something that could possibly be misconstrued, then pick up an old-fashioned phone or visit someone in person.
Congressman Brad Sherman of California recently told The Hill, “I try to inspire my staff often that when they write an email, they write it as if it should be right on the front page of your newspaper.” He was repeating advice I give over and over to political leaders and staffers who will listen.
Sadly, most don’t process this lesson, and many will be out of jobs and embarrassed when their emails are published.
To Strike Again in 2015…
Cyber attacks will continue to intensify in 2015. And investors have been able to make outstanding returns by buying up leading cyber security firms.
Our government is only as good as the people who work there. It’s too bad that the quality of our government servants is slumping. (The best and the brightest minds in technology have an aversion to working for Uncle Sam.)
So if you think it was embarrassing for the head of Sony’s film division, Amy Pascal (a committed leftist), to be exposed as a racist for sending insensitive emails about President Obama, wait until we read the private thoughts of John Boehner…
Any leaked emails we’ve seen so far will seem like child’s play compared to the profanity-laced emails they send about one another on Capitol Hill.
Your eyes on the Hill,