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What does the future hold?Consider the government approved group that hacks computers, the Tailored Access Operations group TAO inside the NSA. What we know is that the TAO gains access to computers remotely, using programs with fabulous secret names like QUANTUMINSERT and FOXACID. We also know that TAO has created specialized software to hack into all manner of electronic information devices including computers, routers, servers and smartphones, and that its agents often install data collection implants into this type of equipment by intercepting its signals and infecting it while in transit. It has been estimated that TAO has successfully hacked into, and is currently extracting
information from, over 80,000 computers worldwide. According to the Chief of TAO, who has spoken publicly on this program, there are things you can do to limit their ability to hack you systems. He mentioned limiting access to important or private information only to those who absolutely need it, not lightening security ever even temporarily, and making sure to shore up any cracks in your security no matter how tiny they may seem. This being said he implied that while this would make is job more difficult it would not prevent you from ultimately being hacked. He also mentioned zero day exploits, flaws in programs or systems that have yet to be discovered and are therefore vulnerable to exploitation. He said that to date only a few of these types of flaws have been discovered but it is a sure bet more will be found in the future. This includes flaws in home networking systems and home security. In addition to these types of governmental agencies of which the TAO is only one among many, the ability of our population to know enough about
computers to hack for fun or for serious exploitation is growing as our young people are gaining increasingly technically complex instruction about computers, programming, and infrastructure.