systems

  • Blockchain described in one sentence: A blockchain is really a kind of database that’s shared across loads of different computers that are each running the same software; each bit of data is secured using some complicated bits of cryptography that means that only people that are meant to be adding to or editing the data can do that job. WIRED Magazine, 2018 Recently, I had a job interview with a company that builds their business model on providing add-on services for their customers’ databases built upon the open source centralized DB platform known as PostgreSQL. Probably the reason why I was considered to do digital copywriting for them is my previous experience writing for tech companies like PTC, Satcon, and L-1 to name a few. For PTC, I did a ton of writing for their PLM Product Marketing Group. PLM (i.e. product lifecycle management) is a massive technology platform and manufacturing methodology that relies heavily on data-driven digital thread content, product data management, and databases to name a few. So as you can see, I know a thing or two about databases. Also, I have written about Blockchain Technology (or BlockTech as I will be using this portmanteau from now on) in the past; therefore, I am well aware of the hot new trends for this distributed cutting-edge decentralized data-repository/processing platform. During the interview, I asked a simple question: How is your approach to utilizing a centralized DB value-add over the hot new decentralized DB technology trend known as Blockchain? Digital Batman’s Alter Ego, Nick, 2021 Needless to say, the developer that I was interviewing with did not really like the question all that much. His answer was more defensive rather than enlightening: “…decentralized DBs are not going away anytime soon, so people need to understand that Blockchain is more like a curiosity right...
  • Recently, the US Department of Justice levied an indictment against three North Korean military hackers for their role in cyber-related crimes (see video below). These included (but not limited to): Targeting of and Cyberattacks on the Entertainment Industry: Such as the destructive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November 2014 in retaliation for the farcical movie The Interview. Cyber-Enabled Heists from Banks: Attempts to steal more than $1.2 billion from banks in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Mexico, Malta and Africa. Creation and Deployment of Malicious Cryptocurrency Applications: Development of multiple malicious cryptocurrency applications including Celas Trade Pro, WorldBit-Bot, iCryptoFx, Union Crypto Trader, and more, which would provide the North Korean hackers a backdoor into the victims’ computers. Spear-Phishing Campaigns: Multiple spear-phishing campaigns that targeted employees of United States cleared defense contractors, energy companies, aerospace companies, technology companies, and more. Ransomware and Cyber-Enabled Extortion: Creation of the destructive WannaCry 2.0 ransomware in May 2017, and the extortion and attempted extortion of victim companies involving the theft of sensitive data and deployment of other ransomware. And it is to that last point that I thought a brief discussion on Ransomware would be warranted. Even Digital Batman’s own father was a victim of a ransomware attack that left him $400 poorer! In 2019 over 187.9 million users were affected by this bold malicious threat to online activities such as web‐surfing, e-commerce, gaming, and more. Put simply, this highly‐disruptive form of Internet‐viral malicious software (malware for short), not only infects your computer but holds all of your most precious files (i.e. photos, documents, apps, etc.) completely hostage—via permanently encrypting such files—until the victim is forced to pay a “ransom” to the criminal entity behind the attack for a decryption key to unlock the files. Usually to the tune of $100 ‐ $400 or more for...