Thursday, January 16, 2014

Soap opera "Days of our Lives" is giving us a lesson on computer and Internet security

The soap opera "Days of our Lives" weekdays on NBC gave us a lesson in Internet security.

The likable Dr. Daniel Jonas ran some complicated medical tests on a Priest (Eric) who had been drugged and then forced to have sex in order to ruin his reputation with the Catholic Church.  Jonas had stored the results on the hospital;s server (presumably with normal encryption like https), sent them to a medical laboratory by email (hopefully encrypted), and save them on his home PC.  All the results were wiped out, and the hard drives of his work and home computers were erased/

Could this happen?  One wonders if he set up his home computer as a network virtual drive (as in Windows) on the hospital computer (pretty easy to do in order to work from home, and this used to be common practice, but it is probably less common now, given concerns about security and HIPAA).

He should definitely have save the results on a backup drive, and an optical drive (CD) is even safer than a flash drive because it can't be affected by magnetism or EMP.  Nobody mentioned that obvious security precaution.  He should have stored a backup in a safe-deposit box in the bank.

Of course, in the soap opera, Stefano is the local crime and mob boss, and he is very determined to get what he wants.  A very determined enemy could undermine almost any security, which is one reason why the NSA goes to the extremes that it does in surveillance.  Although I have yet to hear about a bank robbery to get at a safe deposit box -- or maybe it has happened and I just don't recall that.

For the other subplots -- the "death" of the bad geek Nick Fallon, and the gay marriage thread, see my GLBT and TV blogs.  

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