(CNN) -- In the cyber war being fought across international boundaries, the recent Gmail hack of top U.S. and South Korean officials makes one thing clear, analysts say: the bad guys are winning.
The security of an entire network can only be as strong as its weakest user. That doesn't exactly fill me with hope. Seriously, at what point will people learn how to avoid these? Why is it that on the street we are wary and wise, but there is no sense of online stranger danger? How can total anonymity ever lead to a logical release of personal information?
"The short answer is our side is losing," says Thomas Parenty, a computer security specialist and former employee at the U.S. National Security Agency. "Defense is much more difficult than offense (against cyber attack); to defend against attack, you need to block all ways in; in offense, you only need one way in."On Wednesday Google announced that hundreds of Gmail accounts were compromised in a "spear-phishing" assault -- targeted attacks that duped victims into revealing their Gmail passwords through e-mails that pose as people or companies known to end user. Attackers secretly reset settings to copy and forward all e-mails.
Sony was hacked again, and personal information for a million users was compromised. White House employees were among those targeted by the email hack above, which means anything from gossip to information that would put personal contacts at risk was up for grabs.
Security has advanced beyond the stage of "avoid porn and don't put your password on a sticky note." Security is a responsibility we all must bear for ourselves, and realize we are not only putting ourselves but everyone we have recorded in our address book at risk. Imagine what you could do with access to your enemy's best friend. If you knew their schedule, their loved ones, their upcoming birthdays... it's scary what that can mean in the hands of the wrong people.