In a recent Sydney Morning Herald article, the US Federal Reserve has acknowledged its computer systems were accessed by hackers but said the incident did not affect the central bank's "critical operations". (www.smh.com.au)
The Federal Reserve System was aware that information was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product. The vulnerability was fixed shortly after discovery and is no longer an issue. But the incident it was claimed, did not affect critical operations of the Federal Reserve System.
Moreover, the same news story notes revelations of high-profile cyber-attacks targeting US news media including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal said to be originating from China.
Then Ben Grubb in a separate Sydney Morning Herald article titled 'Criminals breach Australian tax system' and this was posted on the Tax Office website. It gets a bit grim when the ATO itself advisors that their system is under attack. (www.smh.com.au)
The Tax Office uncovered at least four tax agents who had their personal identity stolen. Ben Grubb stated that it did not say whether the agents were small or large in size and how many clients each had. It told Australian Financial Review newspaper that of the four agents, it knew of 20 taxpayers' records being put at risk.
Then recently the biggest news of all, ASIO's new building plans were compromised. Had super-duper digital recording bugs been implanted into walls and secret hiding places?
None of this is new
Every month in Australia, 'crooks' are detected and caught hacking into ATMs, Supermarket and Retail stores' credit card systems. Restaurants were deemed once an easy target but the security has been tightened as restaurateurs could not afford to have their places of business left so vulnerable.
Hackers have got into the US Defence System, I dare say hackers are trying every moment of every day to try and get into various types of national financial and defence systems. It is claimed there are innumerable hacker in Eastern Europe and the Russian States, along with China, Iran, North Korea and others.
If the truth be known, that any spy agency of any of the western democracies, is doing its job, they too will be hacking, engaging in national security protective protocols. WWII Radar is nothing more than a primitive type of hacking and Bletchley Park England's WWII Nazi code breakers were hackers of the first kind. Brilliant, years before their time. (en.wikipedia.org)
The high-level intelligence produced at Bletchley Park, codenamed Ultra, provided crucial assistance to the Allied war effort. Sir Harry Hinsley, a Bletchley veteran and the official historian of British Intelligence during the Second World War, said that Ultra shortened the war by two to four years and that the outcome of the war would have been uncertain without it.
Moreover each nation has its own brilliant cyber engineers on the prevention business in that they attempt to stay one step ahead – in reality, it's in reverse, as the hackers shows where the vulnerabilities exist.
There is a reasonable question – why aren't Christian Mission sites hacked. Certainly it would be a criminal hacker's nightmare to only find articles of Jesus' Salvation and near-empty mission bank accounts. But this is only half the story.
Many Christian Missions do get hacked. Nations that persecute the followers of Jesus, their own people who becoming a follower of the Lord, becomes, in their weird view, a threat to their national security. Missions are a major target.
A central component of Christian belief is justice and righteousness. The light shines where the darkness bids it not. They hate with a vengeance those who follow Christ and hacking becomes a pre cursor to identifying the Christians. Dan Wooding's Assist News Service web site details such stories. (www.assistnews.net)
The truth is, hacking is a deadly business for many of our fellow Christians in those parts of the world where Christian persecution is rife.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html