It’s not just about your data, it’s about the security of the country.
The most common initial phase of a hacking episode relies on spear phishing, a term used to describe a hacker’s method of fooling a person into opening a malicious file or link. And the key to executing a successful spear phishing campaign is obtaining the information necessary to create the appearance that the hacker’s message originates from a legitimate source.
By allowing Internet service providers to not only collect but also share and sell the web histories of customers, Congress has graced the creation of thousands of databases containing the most valuable spear-phishing ammunition in modern history. For context, in 2015 the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) suffered a breach that exposed information on government workers like their prior residences and the contact information of friends and family.
At the time, security experts warned that this compromised data represents a “treasure trove” of information with which hackers can launch spear phishing attacks. But the sensitivity of data stolen from OPM doesn’t hold a candle to the information that would be exposed if a broadband provider were hacked and millions of web histories misappropriated. The severity is compounded because even assuming that the broadband providers cannot be hacked (which is nearly impossible), any number of entities with which they’ve shared web histories may be compromised. This sensitive information can and will be used against high-value targets, as well as citizens at every level.
The Democratic Party’s emails were hacked because John Podesta was “spear fished” so you can see the kind of effect this can have on our national security.