Archive for April, 2006

Apr 25 2006

Network Security Podcast, Episode 24

Published by under Podcast

I’m still recovering a bit from last night’s dinner with the Microsoft Developers.  They were very nice to invite me to coming out party for Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2, but that meant I didn’t get to sleep until almost midnight.  It was quite a lot of fun.   I got some audio feedback for tonight’s show, and thanks to those of you who gave me suggestions for a new camera.  Hopefully I’ll have a little more warning next time.  

Tonight’s music was Day of Reckoning by Amy Martin

Network Security Podcast, Episode 24, April 25th, 2006

Length: 29:21 minutes.

Thanks for listening.  I forgot to mention that I’ll be doing the next episode of IT Employment with Dan Sweet this Thursday. 

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Apr 25 2006

Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 party

Published by under Microsoft

I had a blast at the Microsoft IE7 Beta 2 release party last night.  I listen to a lot of podcasts, all of which are tech-related, but only half of which are security related.  And last night I got to meet half a dozen of the personalities behind  the podcasts I listen to regularly.  Steve Gillmor and Micheal Arrington from the Gillmor Gang, Om Malik, Niall Kennedy and Robert Scoble were all there, as well as my friend, Jeremiah Owyang.  I’ve already covered parts of the experience on the Podcast Roundtable and at ComputerWorld.

My favorite conversation of the night was with Tantek Celik from Technorati.  Tantek asked why we can’t secure a computer, after all, we’ve secured televisions and other devices.   We talked about many of the issues faced on a daily basis in securing a computer, and the consensus was that is simply a matter of complexity; a television is designed to do one thing very well, while a computer is built to do hundreds of things.  Not what you’d call a revolutionary conversation, but one that’s still fun to engage in once in a while.

Talking to the Microsoft product managers and engineers, it sounds like only when used with Vista does IE 7 get it’s full security boost.  There are three security safeguards in Internet Explorer that won’t work in the current beta.  The most significant, at least to me, is that use of a reduced priviledges account only works when used on Vista.  I’d like to see that sooner rather than later, but I’m glad they’re including the safeguard at all.

The folks at Microsoft really wanted to hear what the folks at the dinner had to say, and not just about IE 7.  And they want your feedback.  One of the more important announcements was the free support line Microsoft has created just for IE 7 Beta 2.  Beta 2 is aimed at the enthusiast, and Microsoft is looking to support IE 7’s adoption in any way possible.

I almost forgot.  I took my little iRiver 895 and Jeremiah has put together some of the conversations from last night.  We’ve got more audio, but that’ll come out later.

Podcast: IE7 Beta Launch Party, Discussions with the Product Teams


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Apr 24 2006

University of Texas suffers from breach

Published by under Hacking,PCI

Over 197,000 personal records have been compromised in a breach at University of Texas.  The compromise appears to have happened starting April 11th and been detected around April 21st.

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Apr 23 2006

We got to meet the Mythbusters

Published by under General

The kids and I went to the Maker Faire in San Mateo today.  The kids had one heck of a time and I’m pooped.  The highlight of the show was when the boys and I got to meet the  Mythbusters, Jamie, Adam and  Grant.  Max, my youngest, made no bones about it; Adam Savage is his favorite Mythbuster.  Adam is perfectly willing to play with kids, as the shot of him holding Max in the air shows.   Unluckily we realized that the good camera is giving up the ghost and eating the memory cards just before this shot, and we had to use my camera phone.  Sitting in my pocket is not good for a camera phone.  The only good part of this is that I get to go spend  a little money on a new digital camera.  Any suggestions?  Around or under $300 preferably.

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Apr 20 2006

Quick Note: Lost Comments

Published by under Site Configuration

If you’ve left a comment on the site in the last couple of weeks and it never showed up, I apologize.  I’ve been recieving a lot of comment spam and I have accidentally deleted comments people have left me.  I’m trying to be more careful now, but I know I’m going to miss more in the future.  It’s not personal.

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Apr 20 2006

We’re not winning the war against hackers

Published by under Hacking

The Register is running an article that called “We’re winning the war against hackers“, and I don’t think I could disagree more.  In the first sentence of the article, the author contridicts his own thesis, stating that there’s been an ‘apparent growth in security incidents’.  The perception of a few chief security officers in the UK does not constitute a real reduction in the number of real attacks.

The number of successful attacks against businesses may be down over all, but the evidence doesn’t support that hypothesis.   And even if business comprimises are down in number, they’re up in the impact each comprimise entails.  The cost to a business is higher because of legislation requiring disclosure, and the sheer number of credit card numbers and sensitive documents being lost with each comprimise.  Businesses may feel they’re more secure, but the reality is probably very different.  Hackers are also becoming a lot more canny and better at disquising their comprimises, further making the article suspect.

The other aspect of security this article completely ignores is the home user.  I believe we’re losing the battle for the security of the end user’s computer.  Even if businesses feel more secure online, if the consumers who are using their sites aren’t secure, the businesses won’t be able to conduct business.  Security isn’t about one person or business being protected, it’s about the Internet being secure.  There are too many existing security concerns and too many new ones being revealed on a daily basis for us to say that we’re winning the war.

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Apr 20 2006

50th Frappr member and the first member in Africa

Published by under Site Configuration

Hello to Kim in South Africa and Nuno Santos in Portugal.  Kim is the first listener in Africa, which completes the Continents.  Okay, there’s still Antarctica, but if there’s anyone living down there listening to ANY podcast I’ll be incredibly surprised.  And Nuno Santos is officially the 50th person to put their pin in the Frappr map.   Thanks to everyone who’s marked their spot on the Network Security Podcast Frappr map.

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Apr 20 2006

I hate PG&E

Published by under Site Configuration

We’ve survived months of storms without more than a flicker to the power at my house.  I had over four months of uptime on the server.  And now that nice weather is finally here, PG&E celebrates with a two-hour power outtage in the middle of the night.  I hate waking up to blinking clocks and a silent server room (really just my home office, but it’s where my server sits)

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Apr 18 2006

Network Security Podcast, Episode 23

Published by under Podcast

I got a bit of a late start to the podast tonight, but thanks to a little Rockstar, I was awake throughout the whole thing.  Theres a lot of good stuff in tonight’s podcast, and there’s more good stuff coming up.  I’m trying to use Audacity again, because some of the things I’ve wanted to do are next to impossible in Propaganda. 

Tonight’s Music is Wonder Woman by Frozen Smile

Network Security Podcast, Episode 23, April 18, 2006

Length:  28:49

Thanks for listening and remember to place your pin on the Frappr Map!

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Apr 18 2006

Mob boss using cipher to send orders

Published by under Encryption

The Discover Channel has an article on an Italian Mafia boss who was using a modified Caesar cipher to send orders to his underlings.  This didn’t work to well, since Bernardo Provenzano is now in custody awaiting trial.   The Caesar cipher, also know as a shift cipher, is one of the simplest encoding techniques known and probably took the Italian police all of an hour to decode.

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