The United Federation of Planets had a lot of enemies, and if you run a business, you also face some substantial threats to your operation. So in recognition of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, we decided to cast IT’s most infamous bad actors as notable villains from the Trek shows and movies.
- Ransomware and Viruses as the Borg. Emotionless, merciless and implacable, the Borg subsumed civilizations and intelligent lifeforms, dehumanizing all in their wake. The only purpose of these beings was to spread. Similarly, Ransomware and file-destroying viruses represents great and constant danger to both individuals and organizations, allowing cybercriminals to extort, control, ransack or destroy victims. If your systems have ever been infected by a nasty computer virus, you very well know the “resistance is futile” feeling. The best way to deal with Borg or their malware counterparts is simply to avoid them completely.
- Adware and Spyware as Ferengi. The giant-eared Ferengi weren’t altogether evil (and were actually part of the Federation) but their love of money above anything else often put them on the wrong side of ethical behavior, if not the law. Likewise, it’s greedy, shady marketers who give us Adware and Spyware. These sneaky little programs fit into the category of irritant more than existential threat as they illicitly gather information on computer users, hi-jack browsers and slowdown processing speed.
- Social Engineering as Romulan. If you’re familiar with Star Trek lore, you know the Romulans share a family tree with the benevolent Vulcans, and the two races look very much alike. Like their good Federation cousins, Romulans are also highly intelligent and very cunning. So given Social Engineering’s M.O. of cleverly masquerading as IT service providers or other trusted parties in order to rip off victims, we think this threat makes a very believable Romulan.
- Phishing as Founders. Shape-shifters of one type or another regularly appeared in the various Star Trek shows, but the Founders from Deep Space Nine were most intent on using their abilities as a coordinated attack weapon. The Founders made it hard to know friend from foe, and Phishing (such as when a dangerous email is designed to look like it came from a reputable source) presents the same sort of challenge for IT users.
- Hacking as Q. Referring to both a single entity and an entire race of virtually all-powerful beings, Q existed in a plane apart from the physical Star Trek universe. Yet Q the individual enjoyed popping up from time to time to torment people for fun … or casually threaten human-kind with complete annihilation. Elite Hackers are probably every bit as incomprehensible to the average person as Q was to Captain Picard, and they can be devastatingly destructive without much thought or care for their victims. Like Q, they often seem to do what they do, just because they can.
The bad guys from the Star Trek universe don’t really exist, but threats to your mission-critical IT systems, productivity levels, important data and sensitive records are all too real. For the kind of enemies Kirk, Spock and McCoy faced, charge your phaser, but for the ones listed above, rest assured that you’re protected on The SynchroNet Way.