GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
20190122 This chapter covers security and privacy related topics. Privacy is a human right. Yet we have seen increasing risk associated with our personal data becoming unwittingly widely available through data theft and through our day-to-day interactions with online services. We have seen many “professionally” run computer systems underlying these online services being hacked.
In 2020 the US federal government was found to have been widely breached, reportedly by Russian agents, through a commonly used software package that had an inbuilt backdoor, planted by those agents. In November 2018 Marriot announced that some 500 million users' data had been stolen by criminals who had access to the Starwood computer systems since 2014. In September 2017 Equifax acknowledged that sensitive personal financial information of 150 Million US citizens had been stolen by a third party, believed to be a state sponsored actor or else other criminals who continue to lay in wait to capitalise on the data.
It is important that we protect our data and so our privacy and be conscious of the need to do so and the need to limit the data we are sharing with other organisations that clearly have too little regard for our privacy.