The Internet Age has led to serious privacy concerns.
Operational security has become a cornerstone of online life.
And hackers are endangering children by doing something so terrifying your blood will run cold.
Whistleblowers have shown that the NSA is spying on American citizens.
Big Tech platforms collect data and sell it to advertisers.
Companies and public institutions have also been the target of ransomware attacks.
And on top of all that, young schoolchildren are being targeted, too.
Now hackers are stealing information from grade school kids and selling it.
NBC News reports:
“Most don’t have bank passwords. Few have credit scores yet. And still, parts of the internet are awash in the personal information of millions of schoolchildren . . . NBC News collected and analyzed school files from [hacker] sites and found they’re littered with personal information of children. In 2021, ransomware gangs published data from more than 1,200 American K-12 schools . . .”
Not only are social media sites targeting children at a younger age, they’re also being targeted by hackers.
Kids today have been raised in a society where their entire lives are online, so they could have even more trouble disentangling their identities from nefarious hackers.
NBC News continues:
“Some of the data is personal, like medical conditions or family financial statuses. Other pieces of data, such as Social Security numbers or birthdays, are permanent indicators of who they are, and their theft can set up a child for a lifetime of potential identity theft. Public school systems are even less equipped to protect students’ data from dedicated criminal hackers than many private sector businesses . . .”
It’s unclear how the children’s data could be used, but there are all kinds of unsavory possibilities.
For example, personal data for a wealthy family could be used in a ransomware attack. After all, hackers have recently bilked companies and institutions out of millions of dollars.
Doug Levin, the director of the K12 Security Information Exchange – a nonprofit organization focused on children’s cybersecurity – explained the depths of the problem.
“I think it’s pretty clear right now [schools] not paying enough attention to how to ensure that data is secure, and I think everyone is at wits’ end about what to do when it’s exposed . . . And I don’t think people have a good handle on how large that exposure is.”
Online operational security – even for children – is becoming essential.
Unscrupulous black-hat hackers have shown a willingness to violate privacy in the most obscene ways.
Stay tuned to Unmuzzled News for any updates to this ongoing story.