Going Through the Security Motions

The Associated Press profiles security guru Bruce Schneier. Bruce writes clearly and well, and apparently got a mention in “The Da Vinci Code”. He’s also very critical of Post 9–11 overreaction: “Eventually we will all come to our senses about security,” he says. “I think it’s 10 to 20 years. A generation.” His argument: less …

Continue reading ‘Going Through the Security Motions’ »

Getting Data Past Borders

Bruce Schneier uses reports that Sudan is searching all laptops being brought into the country to sound a warning: “Your privacy rights when trying to enter a country are minimal, and this kind of thing could happen anywhere… If you’re bringing a laptop across an international border, you should clean off all unnecessary files and …

Continue reading ‘Getting Data Past Borders’ »

Let Your Fingers Do the Remembering

Maybe I’ve missed something, but why isn’t more work dedicated to understanding the link between passwords and memory? Given that we’re supposed to remember our passwords (as opposed to writing them down on Post-it notes and sticking them somewhere prominent) why don’t we look more closely at the process whereby we remember stuff — and …

Continue reading ‘Let Your Fingers Do the Remembering’ »

Hang On, I’m Just Calling My Getaway Car

A bank in Chicago has banned use of cellphones in five of its branches, hoping to prevent the bad guys from communicating with each other during a robbery, according to UPI: “We ban cell phone use in the lobby because you don’t know what people are doing,” Ralph Oster, a senior vice president [of the …

Continue reading ‘Hang On, I’m Just Calling My Getaway Car’ »

The Smell of Sterile Burning

There’s a growing noise about Sony’s apparent attempt to install digital rights management software usually associated with bad guys trying to maintain control of a compromised computer: Mark’s Sysinternals Blog: Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far: The entire experience was frustrating and irritating. Not only had Sony put software on my system …

Continue reading ‘The Smell of Sterile Burning’ »

Bruce on Phishing: It’s the Banks, Stupid

Bruce Schneier again talks sense, this time about phishing: Schneier on Security: Phishing Financial companies have until now avoided taking on phishers in a serious way, because it’s cheaper and simpler to pay the costs of fraud. That’s unacceptable, however, because consumers who fall prey to these scams pay a price that goes beyond financial …

Continue reading ‘Bruce on Phishing: It’s the Banks, Stupid’ »

OK, That’s Enough Bluetooth Monday Jokes

One of my favourite bands from the early 1980s, New Order, are promoting their upcoming album, Waiting for the Sirens Call, (due to be launched this coming week) via Bluetooth. They are displaying, in the words of Engadget: digital interactive posters offering song clips, ringtones and photos that can be beamed directly to fans’ cellphones. …

Continue reading ‘OK, That’s Enough Bluetooth Monday Jokes’ »

Do Passports Plus RFID Tags Make Us Walking Targets?

RFID tags? Sinister chip or harmless piece of plastic and wire? I’ve been on the side of the former for some time, but in the face of some objection from readers. A listener to a piece I did on the BBC World Service a few weeks back about the danger that RFID tags would give …

Continue reading ‘Do Passports Plus RFID Tags Make Us Walking Targets?’ »

Behind the Akamai DDoS Attack

A bit late (my apologies) but it’s interesting to look at the recent Distributed Denial of Service attack on Akamai, an Internet infrastructure provider. The attack blocked nearly all access to Apple Computer, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo’s Web sites for two hours on Tuesday by bringing down Akamai’s domain name system, or DNS, servers. These …

Continue reading ‘Behind the Akamai DDoS Attack’ »

The Price Of Democracy

An interesting essay by security guru Bruce Schneier (via the brianstorms weblog) on the economics of fixing an election. Put simply: How much is it worth a party to fix an election, and so how much would they be willing to spend on doing it? Put another way, how much should the folk designing an …

Continue reading ‘The Price Of Democracy’ »