INSIGHTS | Idiots with a database

By John Artman
5 min read

Scan headlines from the last few months and you’d be forgiven for thinking that China’s Big Brother project is almost complete: cameras everywhere, facial recognition databases, and a punitive social credit system. Not only is reality far from this depiction, but China suffers from an even more insidious problem common throughout the world: idiots with a database.

For years, cybersecurity experts have been warning of unsecured devices connected to the internet (printers, cameras, and pretty much any smart device in your home). That problem hasn’t even been solved effectively and, starting from last year, we’ve seeing more and more databases in China left completely open to those who know how to find them. And if “white hats” are making their discoveries public, who knows what the “black hats” have been getting up to.

Bottom line: China is getting serious about data privacy, but that won’t stop incompetent sysadmins. Since the Cybersecurity Law came into effect in 2017, enforcement agencies have

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