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Go Flash, Go!

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I have mixed feelings about the 1980 space opera (yes, that’s a term) Flash Gordon. Campy satire at its worst, it starred Sam Jones who, suffice it to say, was nominated for the first Golden Raspberry Worst Actor award (he narrowly lost to Neil Diamond in The Jazz Singer).  Then again, it featured a pre-Bond Timothy Dalton and a post-Fiddler Topol, basking in the fame of the ubiquitous but unrelated smoker’s toothpaste, as well as the consummate thespian, Max von Sydow.  And of course, there is the famous Queen soundtrack.  Only Freddie Mercury could make “Flash, a-ah, savior of the universe” sound cool.

The plot is ridiculous: a football player and his girlfriend are lured into Dr.  Zarkov’s rocket ship and travel to the planet Mongo, where they overthrow the evil Ming the Merciless to save Earth.   In the climactic scene, Flash lures Ming into thinking that he has failed and disables Ming’s lightning shield defenses, allowing the Hawkmen to penetrate Mingo City, where they impale Ming on his own rocket.  (I suppose I should have included a spoiler alert.  Sorry.)

Flash.  Lure.  Penetrate defenses.  Hmmm.  That sounds familiar.  Hackers use Flash drives to lure unsuspecting users into giving them access to their systems, allowing the hacker to obtain confidential information or insert malware to disable system defenses.

Failing to take reasonable steps to avoid data security breaches can have serious consequences for lawyers and their clients.   It may even be an ethical violation — a number of states recently have issued bar opinions, or amended rules to make explicit, that lawyers have an ethical obligation to keep abreast of technological developments and take steps to avoid data breaches.

So if you are not up to date on the latest technological advances, or if you don’t know a computer worm from an earworm, it may be a good idea to brush up on your technology training.   And if you won’t listen to me, listen to Flash.  “Flash Gordon. Quarterback. New York Jets.”