The Middle East is far from alone. Virtually every authoritarian regime barrages its own population with propaganda, ranging from state-controlled television to social media campaigns on a wide range of platforms. The Middle East, however, may be especially prone to foreign influence operations. In addition to intense regional rivalries, the lack of free media in many countries and the distrust of government and institutions make the region particularly vulnerable.
It happened to Jean Obando on the Saturday evening of December 7. He had just stopped by a Starbucks in Sugar Land, Texas and paid with his phone app. Then while driving on the highway, his phone chimed with a barrage of alerts. PayPal repeatedly notified him that his Starbucks card was being automatically reloaded with $50.
Starbucks told CNNMoney the company has not been hacked, and it didn't lose customer data. The company said these account takeovers are likely due to weak customer passwords. Starbucks suggested that customers use unique, strong passwords.
That may bring to mind worst-case doomsday scenarios, but security experts say there is little imminent risk that hackers will cause a widespread blackout, despite a near-constant barrage of attacks on utilities and grid assets. 2b1af7f3a8