We’re staring a Trojan horse in the face. Its name: computerization.
The North Korean government drove the message home rather forcefully the other day. Its computer gurus, hackers in unofficial lingo, broke into Sony Corporation’s internal computer networks wreaking havoc all over the place.
They had a good reason, too. Sony Corporation, in a frightfully stupid and typically Hollywood move, sponsored a new flick, to be known as The Interview. Its creative crowd thought it exceedingly and outrageously funny to base the plot on U.S. intelligence telling two American journalists about to talk with North Korea’s Beloved Leader (not my description, North Korea’s) that it would be useful for humanity if they went on and killed him.
A comedy, you know. Insert a laugh track here.
Whether Beloved Leader Kim Jong-Un took it personally isn’t known, not for the record, anyway. That his government did is obvious. They made it clear through the “independent” reporting of their mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
While they denied any hacking of anybody, they also hinted Sony Corporation had to pay for its sin of laesa maiestas, the crime of violating their Beloved Leader’s majesty. That, you should know, is an offence against the dignity of a reigning sovereign. The Kim family is nothing if not a hereditary gang of sovereigns. Whether the Koreans like it or not.
Of course, so far as the denials go, the good old rule that says one shouldn’t believe any rumours until and unless they have been denied officially comes into force.
Anyhow, upon having its computer networks hacked, Sony went and pulled the film from distribution before it even hit the theatres.
Not that it did much harm to the viewing public. It must have been drivel to end all drivel. The move did obviously hurt Sony Corporation’s bottom line, but who cares, except for Sony Corporation and its shareholders, right? But Sony Corporation’s apparently shocking display of appeasement attracted the wrath of none other than U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama. We’re not going to be intimidated by any censors, not we, he thundered. Sony should have talked to me, he said, and I would have talked them out of this shameful (and shameless) surrender.
Considering this came from the chief censor himself (under the guise of political correctness), if there ever was a tragicomedy, this is it.
Let’s leave aside the minor detail of Sony replying it did talk to some very high-ranked White House officials, and the uncertainty of what has been actually said during the conversations, by whom and to whom.
It’s perfectly irrelevant for what’s going to follow.
And here it is: it is most unfortunate that most politicians and news outlets haven’t paid much attention to the sad fact that our world is in mortal danger.
Anybody and their dog, from the Taliban to al-Qaeda, from Hamas to any rogue state, can hire a young college geek for a few bucks and they would be more than happy to display their prowess by bringing down a bank or two. No need, even, to go as high as hiring Russia’s ex-KGB expert, Yevgeniy Valentinovich Kaspersky. This guy moved from the nefarious former Soviet espionage and security agency to start his own company. The Kaspersky Lab now offers all kinds of security software. Some say it beats hands down most of similar applications on the market these days. And it’s expensive. In twisted computer logic, this means Kaspersky’s capable of writing the most explosive hacking programs, too. Considering that his record shows he’d go anywhere where the money is, just imagine if any of the known (or unknown) terrorist groups decide they want to bring the world down.
How about this scenario: banks brought to a standstill, your credit or debit cards no longer working, your accounts emptied by persons unknown (unknown, that is, for the time being, and culprits identified when it’s too late). You would have to resort to cash, provided, that is, that you still have access to any of it. The cashiers in your favourite grocery stores would not be able to use their machines to add up the cost of your purchases. Most of them unaware of basic arithmetic operations, they would have to ask their great-grandparents to teach them how to use their fingers and toes to perform such basic tasks.
Let’s hope the abovementioned great-grandparents are still alive and remember what they heard many decades ago in Grade One.
One can develop this scenario ad nauseam, but one wouldn’t want to give Sony Corporation (or any other movie moguls, for that matter) any ideas for new (and realistically good) catastrophic movies.
Anyhow, that’s where we’re at right now, and we should thank God, whoever and wherever she may be, for the warning the North Koreans have given us.
A notepad and a piece of pencil, anyone?