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Could Someone Blow Up the Internet?

You may have heard of Seth Aaron Pendley. The FBI arrested him last week for plotting to blow up an Amazon data center in Virginia in hope of crippling the internet.

Man in Texas Tried to Buy Explosives to Blow up Data Centers

The Department of Justice announced his arrest in a press release: “Mr. Pendley allegedly told the undercover he planned to attack web servers… he believed provided services to the FBI, the CIA, and other federal agencies. He said he hoped to bring down the ‘oligarchy’ currently in power in the United States.”

The DOJ said the undercover agents discovered the plot because one of Pendley’s friends warned them. He had allegedly frequented This, according to the DOJ, is a website on which ‘extremists’ socialize and plot subversion, and through which Pendley had boasted of his plans. Under the screen name ‘Dionysus’, someone had said he planned to “conduct a little experiment.” He said he would “draw a lot of heat” and “would be dangerous”. According to the DOJ, “When another user asked what outcome Dionysus desired, he responded ‘death’.”

In a separate post, Dionysus wrote, “I’m not a dumbass suicide bomber.” Well, that’s reassuring!

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The DoJ said its agents quickly figured out who ‘Dionysus’ was. After learning he was Pendley, the FBI reviewed his other social media feeds. An FBI informant then began discussing Pendley’s plans with him via Signal. He allegedly told the source everything. The DoJ said he planned to blow up a prominent data center with C-4, allegedly hoping “this would kill off about 70% of the internet.” C-4 is a plastic explosive.

If convicted, Pendley could serve up to twenty years in a federal prison.

Could he have pulled it off? Could someone actually blow up the internet?

Was Pendley realistic in thinking he could have “killed off about 70% of the internet”? Experts say no; his self-appointed task was impossible. IT professionals typically arrange extremely tight multi-level security for data centers. And on the off chance someone could blow up a data center, internet functions are so widely dispersed, auxiliary servers could easily fill in for the damaged ones. Most people would not even notice any slowing of web service.

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Whatever you use the internet for, you need a reliable connection. For this reason, shop with Satellite Country. We can help.

When would now be the best time to call Satellite Country?

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Does Your ‘Smart TV’ Know Too Much About You?

Is your TV invading your privacy? As ‘smart TV‘ becomes ever more popular, government and private parties try ever harder to exploit it to spy on viewers. If you;re not careful, your privacy could be at risk.

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Last year, a malware app called ‘Weeping Angel” targeted Samsung smart TV sets with a ‘fake off’ mode. To their owners, the TVs appeared to be off, but they were actually listening to users and recording their conversations.

With their embedded computers and microphones, these advanced TV sets are effective spy tools, so much so that the CIA has created and deployed means for transforming them into listening posts. And Wikileaks, Julian Assange’s platform for publication of stolen documents, has published detailed descriptions of viruses designed for hacking of such TV sets. MI5, Britain’s internal intelligence service, is even alleged to have helpedĀ  in designing some of the viruses.

Should you be worried about this?

Experts in cyber-security say most people don’t need to worry about hacking of their TV sets.

Most forms of malware are meant for mass surveillance. The tools designed for hacking TV sets, though, are too difficult to use to be of much value to the casual hacker. Hence, they are typically reserved for targeting individuals. Unless you suspect that you have attracted the attention of professional spies, then, you probably don’t need to worry that your TV set will be used against you.

How can you protect yourself?

If you’re still worried that your smart TV set or other devices could be used against you, a few precautions will help.

First, avoid buying electronic devices from manufacturers known to be casual about online security. And if you don’t really need networked features, avoid buying devices which include them.

Alas, protecting your privacy may require sacrificing certain conveniences. These may include voice activation, or even your TV’s web connection. You can usually find these features on your device’s ‘settings’ menu.

To be absolutely sure the device can’t spy on you, you’ll need to disconnect it from the electrical grid. If the device is battery-powered, you may need to remove the batteries.

Should you avoid ‘smart TV’ altogether?

Be realistic about this. No matter how careful you are, privacy protection in a smart TV will never be absolute. The methods we’ve mentioned here can keep your electronic devices from recording or transmitting your conversations, but your smart TV could still track your viewing history. Advertisers pay heavily for this data, and ability to collect it is built into the device’s software.

For this, the only known solution is not to buy a smart TV in the first place..


(For the most reliable internet connection, contact Satellite Country. We can help.)