We’re Not in the Business of Understanding our User

A few years ago I wrote about sometimes your product is useful to people in ways you didn’t know—and that you’d be smart to recognise that and capitalize on itn (What Your Product Does You Might Not Know About, 2007). One of the examples I cited was ZoneAlarm, a very popular firewall that was bought …

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Southeast Asia’s Viral Infection

Southeast Asia is fast developing a reputation as the most dangerous place on the Internet. It’s not a reputation the region can afford to have. By one count Thailand has risen to be the country with the most number of malware infections, by one account, and by another to be the second, all in the …

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Strip CAPTCHA Spam

Whatever useful stuff the good guys come up with, the bad guys ain’t far behind. A few months back I wrote about researchers at Carnegie Mellon coming up with a way to use CAPTCHA tools to help decipher words in text by the Internet Archive. The basic idea is that the effort to prevent spammers …

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Is That a Virus on Your Phone or a New Business Model?

This week’s WSJ.com column (subscription only) is about mobile viruses — or the lack of them. First off I talked about CommWarrior, the virus any of you with a Symbian phone and Bluetooth switched no will have been pinged with anywhere in the world. CommWarrior isn’t new: It has been around since March 2005. But this isn’t much …

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CAPTCHA Gets Useful

An excellent example of something that leverages a tool that already exists and makes it useful — CAPTCHA forms. AP writes from Pittsburgh: Researchers estimate that about 60 million of those nonsensical jumbles are solved everyday around the world, taking an average of about 10 seconds each to decipher and type in. Instead of wasting …

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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 …

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Suspected Fraudsters Behind the Sony DRM Virus Arrested

Three men have been arrested in the UK and Finland following an investigation into internet fraud. The three are a motley bunch, according to The Sunday Times: a 63-year-old from England, a 28-year-old from Scotland and a 19-year-old from Finland. Together they are alleged to have formed a gang called M00P. They are accused of …

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The First U.S.-China Cyberwar?

There’s growing coverage of China’s Internet ‘cyberwar’ against the U.S., which seems to have been going on for more than two years with neither side wanting to go public. The U.S. is calling the attack Titan Rain, and as Bruce Schneier points out, the attackers are very well organized. This from AFP: A systematic effort by hackers …

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When Firewalls Move

Here’s the details on the Zone Alarm deal I promised a couple of days back: Effective immediately, Sygate and Kerio users switching to ZoneAlarm Pro will receive a $20 instant rebate, over 40% off the retail price of $49.95. “A firewall is the most essential, fundamental element of protection against hackers,” said Laura Yecies, general …

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