Automated Crime: Scripting Blackmail
Increasingly innovative computer scripts are being created that automate entire criminal processes—processes that, in the past, used to require human intervention. Don’t like your boss? Threaten to tell his wife about the affair with his secretary unless he pays you to keep quiet. The problem was that your boss knew it was you who was blackmailing him, opening the blackmailer to potential negative consequences. Now, however, thanks to the miracle of technology, no need for a human being to become involved in such a dirty and murky affairs. The entire process can be scripted and automated.
Not only can you extort your boss via a scripted attack, but as the entire process is automated, you can blackmail other people’s bosses halfway around the world as well. Crime automation allows transnational organized crime groups to gain the same efficiencies and cost savings that multinational corporations obtained by leveraging technology to carry out core business functions.
As revenue generation via crime commission is the core competency of any organized crime group, automating the process can yield impressive returns. Of course for those victimized by these newly realized efficiencies, the process is less a cause for celebration than it is for concern.
In the case below, a clever Trojan writer has used the popularity of a particular Anime game in Japan to extort small sums of money from victims by publishing their web surfing history online for inspection by the general public. The game in question was of the “Hentai” (変態 or へんたい) genre—a type of Anime that often shows violent pornographic images depicting young girls in a variety of sexual circumstances.
The trojan would publish the name of the individuals who were downloading the images, as well as screen captures of what the individuals had been viewing. Naturally, many would not want their web history exposed in this manner and as such the criminals are able to demand money to take down the user’s identifying information. A clever little trick and yet another step forward in the march towards fully automated criminality in the 21st century.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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