In recent months, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, known as SOPA and PIPA respectively, gained much publicity. Proponents of the bills argued that they are designed to protect the intellectual property of American creators in movies, music and more. Opponents, however, said that the methods enabled by the bills will effectively censor the exchange of free speech on the Internet.
As legislators sought to finalize the bills, mass online protests were sparked, effectively stunting the bills in the short term. However, the day after public outcry, the FBI conducted an operation against MegaUpload, a popular file-sharing website. Though MegaUpload is based overseas and facilitates a range of legitimate uses, the site does use several servers in the United States and is widely known as a place to store and find pirated materials such as movies, music and more. The FBI took the site offline and had four of its key members arrested in New Zealand.
While the case is groundbreaking, the incident also came with an immediate backlash. A group called Anonymous, which has claimed responsibility for a number of high profile hacks, set up various Denial of Service attacks on government websites, including the Justice Department and the FBI. Attacks were also launched against supporters of SOPA and PIPA, including the RIAA and the MPAA. The attacks knocked the websites offline, and the immediate impact shows unprecedented vulnerabilities in the country's virtual network.
Clearly, the playing field has changed. Targeted Denial of Service attacks can be difficult to overcome but it is important to note that there are other, far more damaging attacks that can also be waged if hackers put their minds to it. Therefore, in order to stay effective in this new battlefield, it is important to have advanced security training. The infamous Certified Ethical Hacker certification is now baseline.
Fortunately, there are numerous advanced security training courses available. Some of the most popular of these include Cloud Security, Wireless Security and Mobile Hacking. Such courses provide the skills and knowledge to appropriately protect against such attacks, enabling individuals to both repair any potential damage and set up proper measures to prevent attacks in any environment. In order to be properly protected, it is important to be properly trained, which is why the value of security courses comes into play.
Ultimately, the Internet is still an evolving landscape with legal questions and ample room for uncertainty. As attempts to define its parameters are inevitably set forward, it is essential for individuals to be well prepared in order to keep websites and content safe and accessible.