Cybersecurity / The Heart of Human Potential

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Date Host George Noory
Guests Kevin Mitnick, Howard Martin

In the first half, Kevin Mitnick, who's been called the world's most famous hacker, related the story of his own involvement in cybercrime, which led to one of the first high-profile FBI arrests for illegal computer activity. At first, Mitnick's curiosity as teenager in the 1970s led to relatively harmless acts like phone phreaking and using his computer to play pranks on his friends. As his activities became more serious, however, he got the attention of the FBI, who ultimately raided his home and charged him with federal crimes. Since then, he's reformed into a consultant who now helps people and companies fight illegal hacking and scams.

Cybercrime is a worldwide problem, Mitnick acknowledged, with no short-term fix in sight. He went on to discuss the different types of cybercrimes, the "bad actors" who perpetrate them, and how to protect ourselves. As part of one of most common email scams, hackers engage in "credential harvesting," where they steal login information by posing as their victims' banks, for example. An entire industry has also sprung up around ransomware, where the computers of unsuspecting targets are locked until hackers are paid to release them. Furthermore, governments, including that of the United States, are often discovered to be engaged in the hacking or surveilling of citizens and other governments. Although hacking continues to become more sophisticated, with critical infrastructure like electric power grids at risk, Mitnick said that at least for now, teams of highly skilled cybersecurity personnel are probably sufficient for addressing security gaps.

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In the second half, researcher Howard Martin shared the science linking heart function with health, emotional well-being, and intelligence. Martin expressed his concern that the stress of the current era has been particularly stressful on the hearts of many people around the world. As opposed to researching the heart strictly in terms of its role as the body's blood-pumping organ, however, Martin's organization HeartMath focuses on "understanding the heart physically, emotionally, and spiritually." Currently, HeartMath serves clients like the US military, schools and universities, and health care facilities.

Through the system of tools, techniques, and technology developed by its founder Doc Childre, Martin explained, people can tap into the "intelligence of the heart" in order to cope with the challenges of life in a practical, straightforward way. In addition to the profound connection between the heart and the brain, the heart also produces a magnetic field around the body through which our emotions are transmitted, he said. These fields affect our own mood, our relationship with others, and collectively, even the Earth itself, Martin went on. Ideally, harnessing this power leads to the realizing of our human potential, which in turn allows us to overcome obstacles, treat others with compassion, and live in harmony.

News segment guests: Laura Weinstein, Steve Kates

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