What is a Cyber Warrior?
According to Technopedia, a Cyber warrior is “a person who engages in cyber warfare, whether for personal reasons or out of patriotic or religious belief…Cyber-warriors come in different forms, depending on their roles, but all deal with information security in one form or another.” These cyber warriors can battle on the front lines of computer security, either by defending or attacking other systems. In our modern day and age of social media, sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used as weapons in cyber warfare.
Common Social Media Websites
Social networking with real world friends.
Link bookmarking tool.
140 Character microblogging tool.
A location based anonymous Twitter.
Online resume that connects individuals with peers in similar careers. Can assist in gaining a job.
Photo heavy blogging.
Photo sharing network.
Social media websites are websites in which users use electronic communication to social and share content via online communities. Popular social media communities include: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and LinkedIn. The reoccurring theme throughout these sites are that a user can share snippets of their life or interests with “friends,” or “followers.”
Most users do not realize, or give much thought, to how much information they share through their accounts, or the significance of the information that they do share. Huffington post ran an article three years ago about information not to post on Facebook, this includes: full birth date, mother’s maiden name, address, vacation dates, when the user will be away from home, checking in at places away from home, over sharing information about work, posting about illegal or risky activity, phone numbers, children’s names, or pictures or videos that clearly show the layout of a home or valuable goods. These are things that many users continue to post, despite the fact that this information can be used to steal their identity, or cause harm to themselves or their family.
The dangerous information that we all leave behind.
Cyber warriors with nefarious goals in mind can use these pieces of information to steal user’s identities as well as physical property. Through hacking, “friending” a user, or simply accessing a profile that is not set to private a criminal can get to know a user’s habits, frequently places they visit, and history. It’s not difficult to find the answer to most security questions with the use of a Facebook or LinkedIn Profile and Google. For instance, “what was your high school mascot,” “what was the model of your first car,” “what is your mother’s maiden name,” and “what was the name of your first pet,” are questions that can be answered with a little digging from the “About” section of the profile, past posts, photos, videos, and tagged posts from friends.
In a New York Times article sprinted in 2010, they talk about the very real dangers of geotags. “Geotags are embedded in photos and videos taken with GPS-equipped smartphones and digital cameras.” Since the Geotag data is not easily seen, most people are unaware that it exists, or if they are aware, they do not realize 1) how easy it is to see or 2) how accurate the location it. Geotagging puts not just an online user’s privacy at risk, but also their safety.
Everyday Cybercrime - What you can do.
However, all of these things can also be used for good. James Lyne talks about cybercrime in his TED talk, and during his lecture he warns about the importance safeguarding our actions in relation to technology. He shows how he can pinpoint where people have been, and where they live by the stored data in their phone that is shown when someone connects to a public WiFi network, and explains how viruses are uploaded via the internet.
The inspiring thing about his talk, was when he took the time to explain how through a collaborative project with many different agencies and many different types of cyber warriors, over the course of a year they were able to track down a ring of Russian cyber criminals. They tracked this individuals down purely online. By using a flurry of different types of technological clues, they tracked down the organization. One of the final clues that helped this vigilante group of do-gooders find the criminals was through one of the men’s wives. She posted (on her very public social media profile) plenty of information, as well as a telephone number associated with the case.
Lyne: Everyday cybercrime -- and what you can do about it
Therefore, it is essential for civilians to protect their information online, because not all cyber warriors fight for good. Our computers, iPads, iPods, and smartphones, makes us incredibly vulnerable to the wicked evils of cyber magic voodoo used by these nefarious cyber warriors. One second, a user can be scrolling along their Facebook page, checking up on their online friends, and then bam! They have been nabbed for multi-million dollar international cyber crimes because of the amount of personal information on a wife’s social media profile. The bottom line is that social media can be one of the most feared tools, and the one of the greatest weaknesses of a modern cyber warrior. Through geotagging, and information mining, a cyber-warrior can help bring justice or chaos.
Janssen, Cory. “Cyber-Warrior.” Technopedia. Accessed 4 October 2013.
Lyne, James. 2013 Feb. James Lyne: Everyday cybercrime -- and what you can do about it. Video file. Accessed 4 October 2012.
Murphy, Kate. “Web Photos That Reveal Secrets, Like Where You Live” New York Times Online. Published Aug 2010. Accessed 4 October 2012.
Smith, Karen and Bosker, Bianca. “What Not to Post on Facebook.” Huffington Post. Accessed 4 October 2013.
"Social Media." Merriam-Webster.com. Accessed October 4, 2013. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social media.
© 2015 Haley