BREAKING: Everything Hacked
WASHINGTON — Leaders of government, finance, industry and technology from around the world announced at a hastily-called press conference today that everything had been hacked.
“You heard me,” Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker told assembled reporters as the sounds of wild rioting echoed from the streets outside. “Everything. The whole enchirito. All of it.”
While the full scope of the compromise has yet to be determined, knowledgeable sources estimate that the hacked devices and services include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, wireless routers, bank and credit card accounts, automatic teller machines, water and sewer flow control systems, power networks, nuclear and coal power plants, wind turbines, street lights, traffic lights, subways, Amtrak, land-line and cellular telephone networks, air traffic control systems, commercial and military aircraft guidance systems, GPS receivers, automobile turn signals, wireless car keys, pacemakers, hearing aids, MRI scanners, EKG machines, HVAC systems, grocery store loyalty card accounts, hotel room door keys, Disney World MagicBands, Starbucks cards, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, stoves and ovens, food processors, televisions, TiVos, XBoxes, PlayStations, Bluetooth headsets, electric shavers, electric toothbrushes, WaterPiks, coffee machines, toasters and toaster ovens, hair dryers and Klout scores.
“We’re pretty much 100% boned,” Secretary Pritzker added before being interrupted by a brick thrown through a nearby window.
Silicon Valley leaders expressed bewilderment as to how such a massive failure of electronic security systems could have taken place.
“All of those systems were secured with state-of-the-art security techniques,” said one expert in computer security, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid the howling mobs that had strung most of his colleagues up from lampposts. “Each and every one of them required every user to memorize a long string of nonsense characters, liberally interspersed with inappropriately placed numbers and punctuation marks, in order to log in. And each one told those users to make sure to use a different long string of nonsense characters for each site, service, device or account, because if everybody used the same one everywhere it would be absurdly easy for an attacker who managed to break into one service to use credentials stolen from there to break into many more.”
The expert scoffed at the suggestion, frequently voiced this morning by bands of marauding rioters as they took breaks from burning down buildings, that making the security of the world economy dependent on a system that imposed such a large cognitive burden on ordinary users — and which opened itself up to compromise every time even one user failed to live up to that burden — was dangerously irresponsible.
“All you people had to do for the system to be 100% secure was memorize two hundred and thirty-six different passwords,” he explained. “And remember which one goes with which account. And never send them over unencrypted channels like e-mail. And never make use of a memory aid like a piece of paper stuck to the wall with your passwords written on it. And change them all every thirty days without ever re-using one you used in the past.”
“I guess that was just too hard for you idiots,” he concluded before grabbing his “go bag” and racing for the door.
While experts are still scrambling to determine the extent of the damage, they unanimously recommend that users immediately change any passwords associated with any online account or other Internet-connected device or service, especially if it is possible to do so while frantically boarding up your house to defend against the rampaging hordes that have sprung up to protest the sudden collapse of modern civilization. Stockpiling anti-virus software, canned food and ammunition is also encouraged.
“And be sure to mix a few Molotov cocktails before retreating into your hastily-erected bunker with whatever members of your family are still alive,” Secretary Pritzker reminded listeners. “Safety first.”