Buy Your Password From 11-Year Old Girl?

Would you buy your password from an 11-year old girl?  I would, and maybe you should, too.  Mira Modi, an 11-year old New Yorker, has very very cool service called Diceware.  Using a technique developed by Arnold Reinhold, Mira uses dice to come up with a unique 6 word passphrase, which she will send to you in the US Mail.  Her fee is two bucks.

Understanding that passwords are cracked by cyber-criminals one of two ways, either ...

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Word and Excel Macro Viruses Are Back

macro-virusUsing BASIC or Visual BASIC programming scripts can add automation and other functions to documents created in the Microsoft Office productivity suite of products.  Unfortunately, this feature can be used by cyber-attackers to send malware exploits in otherwise innocuous looking documents that most people would open without a second thought.

The macro virus goes back to 1995, the most infamous being the Melissa email macro virus that $80 million in damages to US ...

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Scary Disguises Hide Malware Too

goblinIt’s Halloween tomorrow, the traditional time when we dress up in scary or not-so scary costumes to disguise our identity and trick our friends and family.  It’s good to remember that malware often uses disguises to trick us into committing an action that releases the attack.  What follows are my scary Halloween stories.

  • Social Engineering – In this exploit the attacker may present themselves in person, over the phone, or by email, ...
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FBI Warns About IOT Vulnerabilities

IOTOne of the major trends in technology is the proliferation of smart devices, also known as the Internet of Things (IOT).   The FBI recently released a public service announcement titled “Internet of Things Poses Opportunites For Cyber Crime.”  More and more devices are are coming with software, processors and network capability, and connecting to our home and business ...

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Security Improved in IOS 9

applelogoApple introduced IOS 9 recently and it is full of security improvements that matter.  You should upgrade if you haven’t already.  They include:

  • Passcodes increased from 4 digit to 6 digit PINs, which is 10,000 time stronger.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) for supported devices. Not all are, which is too bad.
  • Changes to the Apple Store to key annoying app vendors from bombarding you with crossgrade ads on products ...
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Jeb Bush Defends NSA

jeb-bush-550Back on Sept 18 we criticized presidential candidate Jeb Bush, FBI Director James Comey, and other politicians for complaining that encryption was making it too hard to fight the “evil doers” and suggesting that some sort of “master key” or “backdoor” was needed by law enforcement and intelligence services to do their jobs.  We of course disagreed.

Around the same time that ...

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Privacy – Big IT vs. US Government

scalesHere are a couple of recent stories where a large information technology companies refused to turn over information to the government.

The first involves Apple, which was given a wiretap order to turn over certain communications between two alleged drug dealers on the iMessage platform.  Apple wasn’t so much refusing to comply as pointing out that this messaging service is encrypted end to end, ...

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AppGuard – Computer Security That Works

AppGuardI am often asked by frustrated clients “Why doesn’t traditional anti-virus and Internet security software products work?”  The unfortunate answer I have to give them is “It’s your fault.”  The more diplomatic answer I really use is that the security software cannot prevent something that is explicitly allowed by the computer user.  And the computer user is easily tricked into opening a file ...

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Presidential Candidates Against Encryption

encryptionBack in August, presidential candidate Jeb Bush came out against encryption.  Makes it too hard for law enforcement to figure out what the “evildoers” are up to, he says.  I agree that encryption makes it impossible to figure out what the Wall Street executives who are funding every presidential campaign, by the way, are inventing now to ruin the American economy again and take a third trip into looting the 401K and IRA ...

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