ENGLISH LANGUAGE Directions (1–10) :
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it.Certain words are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Over a couple of days in February, hundreds of thousands of point-of-sale printers in restaurants around the world began behaving strangely. Some churned out bizarre pictures of computers and giant robots signed, “with love from the hacker God himself. Some informed their owners that, “YOUR PRINTER HAS BEEN PWND’D”.Some told them, “For the love of God, please close this port”. When the hacker God gave an interview to Motherboard, a technology website, he claimed to be a British secondary-school pupil by the name of“Stack overflowing”. Annoyed by the parlous
state of computer security, he had, he claimed, decided to perform a public service by demon starting just how easy it was to seize control.
Not all hackers are so public spirited, and 2016 was a bonanza for those who are not. In February of that year cyber -crooks stole $
81 m directly from the central bank of Bangladesh—and would have got away with more were it not for a crucial typo
.In August America’s National Security Agency (NSA)saw its own hacking tools leaked all over the internet by a group calling themselves the Shadow Brokers.(The C1A suffered a similar indignity this March,) In October a piece of software called Mirai was used to flood Dyn, an internet infrastructure company, with so much meaningless traffic that websites such as Twitter and Reddit were made inaccessible to many users. And the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s e- mail servers and the subsequent
leaking of embarrassing communications seems to have been part of an attempt to influence the outcome of the American elections.
Away from matters of great scale and grand strategy, most hacking is either show-off vandalism or simply criminal. It is also increasingly easy. Obscure forum soil the trade in stolen credit-card details, sold in batches of thousands at a time. Data-dealers hawk“exploits”: flaws in code that allow malicious attackers to subvert
systems.You can also buy “ransomware”,with which to encrypt photos and documents on victims’ computers before charging them for the key that will unscramble the data. So sophisticated are these facilitating markets that coding skills are now entirely optional. Botnets—flocks of compromised computers created by software like Mirai, which can then be used to flood websites with traffic, knocking them offline until a ransom is paid—can be rented by the hour. Just like a legitimate business, the bot-herders will, for a few dollars extra, provide technical support if anything goes wrong.The total cost of all this hacking is anyone’s guess (most small attacks, and many big ones, go unreported).But all agree it is likely to rise, because the scope formalice
is about to expand remarkably.“We are building a world-sized robot,” says Bruce Schneier, a security analyst, in the shape of the“Internet of Things”. The loT is abuzz-phrase used to describe the computerization of everything from cars and electricity meters to children’s toys, medical devices and light bulbs. In 2015 a group of computer-security researchers demonstrated that it was possible to take remote control of certain Jeep cars. When the Mirai malware is used to build a botnet it seeks out devices such as video recorders and webcams ; the botnet for fridges is just around the corner.