Coincidence???

This week I finished reading a book titled “Ransomeware Hunting Team.” As I read I began to realize why passwords are so important, and necessary. Each time I write about passwords it is negative. I hate passwords with a passion. My favorite saying is that the only one that a password protects me from is me. Fortunately, I have only encountered a ransomeware attack once in my lifetime, and I was smart enough to ignore it, and also wise enough to restart my computer in Safe mode, I got lucky. The thought of my computer being invaded by a complete stranger who then sends a nasty-gram asking for money to get rid of him makes the hair on my arms stand at attention. The only thing scarier is encountering that same man on the street who sticks a gun in your face and demands your wallet.

In the book “Ransomeware Hunting Team” the authors tell a story of the heroic effort expended by a few people in the world who take the opposite stance as the thieves. The main characters are hackers who specialize in, and get delight from being able to unlock the thief’s key, and to save the victim from paying the ransom. At first, these brave hackers were the only ones fighting the hundreds (or maybe thousands) of evil-hackers who everyday hold unsuspecting victims hostage. It took decades of cooperation between the good-hackers and the FBI to finally develop enough clout to fight back effectively. In the mean time, evil-hackers had bilked billions of dollars from individuals and corporations.

I still believe that better computer designs, and more secure software can be developed to squash the ransomeware developers. But will anyone be able to force computer and software companies to do that?This is such a big problem that it will take a concerted effort by our government to enact regulations and controls that will make it impossible for evil-hackers to function.

To my surprise, yesterday I read headlines that airlines had been shut down nationally due to an unknown computer outage. My mind immediately jumped to suspect ransomeware, and Russian hackers looking to get rich by imposing such a grand scheme as shutting down the major transportation system in the country. It is a documented fact that the USA has imposed sanctions on Russia, and the sanctions are working. It is also known that the USA is assisting Ukraine in the war with Russia. This is not just a coincidence. The shutdown of the USA air transport system is most likely Vladimir Putin getting revenge on the United States for waging war against Russia by using Ukraine as a proxy.

Of course the airlines have denied that the problem is not due to ransomeware. It would be too embarrassing for them to admit such a thing, and it would be even more embarrassing to admit that the FAA has sent Russia tons of money to get the system back up and running. It would be even more damaging to learn that the FAA system was so out of date that it was susceptible to crash just like Southwest Airlines. We spend trillions of dollars every year to run our country, but I’d be willing to bet that there isn’t one nickel in the budget for upgrading crucial computer systems.

My prediction is the Department of Transportation, run by a weakling rookie, will spend more money trying to find the root cause than they would spend on a system upgrade.