5 Cybersecurity Issues to Watch in 2024

January 28, 2024 — Jt Spratley

Between the IBM HBCU Ambassador program, cybersecurity specialists active on social media, and personal research, there are a few cybersecurity issues discussed enough that we need to keep a closer watch on daily.

AI-Based Deep Fakes and Catphishing

Artificial intelligence (AI) has far exceeded the point where we look at such tech in sci-fi movies and think "maybe some day in the distant future." Once futuristic, AI-related complications shown in cyberpunk games and movies - Total Recall (the original at least), Blade Runner, Transcendence (with a cameo from "2045 Initiative"), Cyberpunk 2077, Shadowrun - affect us now. Virtual reality (VR) is a thing, and some people truly prefer to live in it more than the real world. As Jack from the "Upgrade" (2018) movie stated, "a fake world is a lot less painful than the real one."

Obviously, there are benefits to VR and augmented reality (AR), particularly in training and medical applications. But I'm focusing on the drawbacks. AI is being used against us in cyber attacks and tricking us in some situations. Before diving deeper, an interesting example of malicious AI usage is the amount of stories about OnlyFans customers being upset after learning that they'd paid for AI-generated content, not a real person.

AI-Assisted Warfare

War makes money for the military-industrial-congressional complex (MIC). The easiest example as to how: consumables including ammunition and tactical vehicles which must be replaced often. AI integrated into weaponry, vehicles, and battle plans can help win wars. The "Rods from God" story is an extreme example. On a more personal scale, AI can be used for more clever phishing, social engineering, and related malware attacks.

The AI-generated OnlyFans model scheme is a scam that affects a relatively small amount of the US population. That same AI software can make deep fake videos impersonating someone as a smear campaign or to scam loved ones. On a greater scale, AI can aid in propaganda and psychological warfare against a nation. Facebook was called out years ago on manipulating the "algorithm" to show users more or less about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election. Google is consistently dragged for hiding results related to controversial topics like COVID-19. Many acts which negatively impact "them" are wiped from Google results, which is why many prefer DuckDuckGo and search engines. Will Smith's "Enemy of the State" is a good example of how being a good guy can make you their antagonist.

AI-Enhanced Surveillance

A 2010 lecture by Sydney White dives deep into the real, societal effects of surveillance and censorship. She covered:

"Those who print the money print the news." - Sydney White
"The best lie is the one that is almost true." - Sydney White

New Scapegoat for Racism

AI has advanced tremendously in capabilities since 2010. So much so that President of the US (POTUS) Joe Biden and VPOTUS Kamala Harris are discussing how to secure AI applications. Film Theory released a video about recent Disney movies pushing AI as protagonists to boost the population's acceptance of the life-changing technology. It is working. Due to such mainstream entertainment, and the general population's desire for greater convenience in a difficult life, many have shifted from "I'm not gonna make it easier for the government to keep tabs on me" to "Alexa, [personal question]" while smart TVs record nearby conversations. This applies to all Internet of Things (IOT) devices:

  • Home appliances
  • Amazon Alexa devices
  • Smart doorbells
  • Smart watches
  • Security cameras
  • Human augmentation (cybergenetics), thanks to advancements in 3D printing

As a pro-Black technie, I have to mention how this will affect anti-Black racism. Many studies, videos, and documentaries have proven that biometric software does a very poor job of recognizing black and brown people. However, stores and the federal government are starting to rely on AI recognition tools to identify suspects in crimes, despite the well known disproportionate amount of false positives regarding non-whites. Expect the police to use AI to put more Blacks in prison. AI provides another scapegoat for the argument "all blacks look alike." I liken it to Black mayors in Chicago and Dolton, Illinois, being scapegoats for the destruction of primarily Black communities with corruption and massive influx of migrants. It also expands the negative effects of the 13th Amendment on Black Americans.

Coded Bias Documentary

Shalini Kantayya's Coded Bias (2020) documentary explores racial discrimination against non-white people. Short research introduced me to the Algorithmic Justice League (AJL), a nation-wide map of reported facial recognition surveillance sites, and info about the ECHELON Surveillance System, a program reportedly used by the "five signatories of the UKUSA Agreement—Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States," or "Five Eyes." We should pay attention to how this affects Blacks' relationship with other ethnic groups. Such issues are why I recommend IT folks, especially HBCU students, complete IBM's latest SkillsBuild AI courses.

Learn more about AI versus American descendants of slaves (ADOS) in this video by The Black Authority:

Election Security

The integrity of the election process has reached the point where Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency CISA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are dedicating resources to election security. Norfolk State University (NSU) recently hosted an election security elective course. With another highly controversial 2024 presidential election underway and the current state of international ffairs, that's more than enough to warrant tuning in to what your city and state are doing to be part of the solution.

Content Being Deleted

I mentioned earlier how some search engines remove results. Many platforms, Facebook and Twitter for example, have been known to simply remove content that doesn't apply with a prominent narrative. How Twitter removed posts warning about negative effects from COVID-19 vaccines is the most notable example today.

What's the solution? You already see it if you watch YouTube videos and are on social media: save content. Take screenshots. Save PDF files, images, etc. That might require you learning better data organization, a process user experience (UX) folks call Information Architecture (IA). Remember to do backups often.

Another solution is to seek the source or origin of reported information - claims, statistics, graphs, etc. Where did they get it? We need to be more vigilant with what info we accept versus verify first. That includes experts who may have been bought and books which may have a hidden agenda. Question everything.

Somewhat related, read more non-fiction books about the topics you care about. Black Americans can't go wrong with physical copies of Dr. Claud Anderson's Powernomics book series, Richard Rothstein's "Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America," and Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." These books share sources for a lot of their work. A physical copy doesn't require electricity. Get a copy before such books with the truth are harder to find and more expensive.

Lastly, ensure that you and your children know how to read and write cursive handwriting. Cursive is used in historical documents and professional hand-written documents. I acknowledge the counter argument that not all cursive is easily legible. Don't dismiss cursive just because a minority write in a illegible manner. You don't know when you're going to need it.

COVID Vax injuries

I already explained the issue with biased reporting on COVID-19 vaccination success and injury statistics. This is not only a cybersecurity affair but one of cyberbiosecurity. It may be helpful to consume vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc to prevent or mitigate COVID. Its great to know how effective each vaccine is before deciding to take one or any. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) did have a concise page stating effectiveness of each COVID vaccine - Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson - with statistics in plain language on one page. Now there's a page with more info about possible side effects, hard-to-find page about vaccine scheduling recommendations for specific groups of people, and lengthy reports. It appears CDC is doubling down on pro-COVID vaccination.

I'm curious to see if these COVID vax injuries have the same effects as HIV/AIDS historically on the Pan-African community. I'm also worried about this claim of a mRNA ‘Air Vaccine’ approved for use without our consent.


Canvas Fingerprinting helps websites track you without the use of cookies. Therefore, regular security measures won't block it. Its rarely discussed but worth understanding for any privacy advocate. Learn how to block canvas fingerprinting in your web browser.

IBM has a listacle worth a watch.

Tags: cybersecurity, health, IT, privacy, seo

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