It's a hacker's world, don't believe in it

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Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and

That dumb column you thought I wrote? Nope. Syrian hackers. The AP Twitter feed wasn't the first credible dispatch to be hijacked.

Media, business and government -- we've all been wringing our hands since The Associated Press (Altered Post?), gold standard of fact-based reporting, announced that the White House had been bombed and the president injured, sending the Dow into a 143-point bungee dive.

There'd been no explosion. Barack Obama was fine. The pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army claimed credit for the mayhem, tittering like a couple of mid-20th-century 8-year-olds who'd just phoned a clueless housewife and asked: "Is your refrigerator running? It is? Then, you'd better go catch it."

Ha. Ha.

Malicious electronic intrusions are a cause of growing concern. A phony news bulletin is one thing. But what about some crackpot with nuclear codes or a fraudster intent on draining your checking account?

Still, there's an upside here, too, though it got no attention at all this past week. In an era of provably porous digital security, no one can really be held responsible for anything at all.

How do you know it was me who sent that drunken text, that compromising Weiner photo, that reply-all email?

For all you know, it could have been Syrian hackers. In a world where no code is unbreakable, we can never be certain who's talking to us.

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The smart stuff? Of course that was me. The rest of it could have been anyone.


TWEETIFIED

1. Changed password.

2. Disguised voice.

3. Encrypted data.

@Newsday

4. Set up alter-egos.

5. Wait, remind me who I am!

 

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THE NEWS IN SONG: Brad Paisley's so much cooler "Online," tinyurl.com/onoffon

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LONG ISLANDERS OF THE WEEK: BABY DOCS

Might as well have a baby, if only out of Long Island pride. Nassau University Medical Center just hit the top 10 percent in a maternity-care survey from Healthgrades, stacking the East Meadow hospital against 4,500 others nationwide. Research tracks how the staff handled more than two dozen common birth complications. NuHealth president Arthur Gianelli says the ranking reflects a "growing reputation to ensure successful outcomes for our patients."

Email ellis@henican.com
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