Consumers As Unwitting Data Conduits as Cyberware Flames

June 30, 2020

India and China are not friending one another. The issue I noted today concerns social media services designed —  maybe targeted is a more appropriate word — at consumers.

Most users of apps like TikTok of 30 second video renown are not aware and do not want to know about data surveillance, known to some as data sucking or data hoovering. (A Hoover was a vacuum cleaner for DarkCyber readers unfamiliar with such a device.)

Information has been floating around that TikTok and other “authorized” apps available from the Google and from the would-be Intel-killer Apple allow the basic social media function to take place while the app gobbles a range of data. Put something on your clipboard? Those data are now in a server in Wuhan.

“India Bans TikTok As Tensions with China Escalate” reports:

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement Monday that it had received many complaints about misuse and transmission of user data by some mobile apps to servers outside India.

Yes, another Captain Obvious insight. Is Captain Obvious working for one of India’s government services?

For those who have wandered the aisles of some interesting conferences, TikTok data is only the tip of the data iceberg.

In fact, I told one hip real news person that chasing some of the smaller data resellers was like understanding the global nature of agribusiness by talking to a quinoa farmer 20 miles from Cusco.

The information is interesting to DarkCyber for three reasons:

  1. The insight light bulb is flashing in some government units. That’s a start.
  2. India is recognizing that consumers going about their daily lives are providing an intelligence windfall of reasonably good size. Consumers use their mobile phones, consumers talk, and consumers enter secure facilities and check out craze dances in the break room.
  3. Cyber warfare is not just chewing away at juicy servers in Australia or Canada. Cyber warfare is wrapped up in those low cost, feature packed hardware devices which, according to the sticker on the box, are “smart.”

The current time period is one filled with interesting activities. What do you think, Captain Obvious?

Stephen E Arnold, June 30, 2020

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