Entries by Alan Zeichick

Scam email claims your credit card will be charged – don’t open the attachment

I’ve seen a flurry of these messages recently; by a flurry, I mean 34 in the past two days. The emails come with a variety of texts on the same theme, with randomized “from” email addresses, sender names, salutations, credit-card brand references, and dollar amounts. The common element: An email attachment. It’s a corrupted Microsoft Word […]

Don’t click on “must validate account” email scams!

This fake message from “Netflix” almost got me, and as you know I’m quite skeptical about these things. Unlike most scams, it’s neatly formatted and well-written. And because my family has a Netflix account, it didn’t seem completely unreasonable. What gave it away? First, vendors don’t sent out emails demanding to “validate” information or your […]

, ,

AI-driven network scanning is the secret to effective mobile security

The secret sauce is AI-based zero packet inspection. That’s how to secure mobile users, and their personal data and employers’ data. Let’s back up a step. Mobile devices are increasingly under attack, from malicious apps, from rogue emails, from adware, and from network traffic. Worse, that network traffic can come from any number of sources, […]

, , ,

How AI is changing the role of cybersecurity – and of cybersecurity experts

In The Terminator, the Skynet artificial intelligence was turned on to track down hacking a military computer network. Turns out the hacker was Skynet itself. Is there a lesson there? Could AI turn against us, especially as it relates to the security domain? That was one of the points I made while moderating a discussion […]

, ,

Forget the IoT: It’s all about the Industrial IoT

Smart televisions, talking home assistants, consumer wearables – that’s not the real story of the Internet of Things. While those are fun and get great stories on blogs and morning news reports, the real IoT is the Industrial IoT. That’s where businesses will truly be transformed, with intelligent, connected devices working together to improve services, […]

, ,

Too long: The delays between cyberattacks and their discovery and disclosure

Critical information about 46 million Malaysians were leaked online onto the Dark Web. The stolen data included mobile phone numbers from telcos and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), prepaid phone numbers, customers details including physical addresses – and even the unique IMEI and IMSI registration numbers associated with SIM cards. That’s pretty bad, right? The carriers included […]

, , ,

No pastrami sandwich or guinea pig emoji in iOS 11.1, dammit

Still no pastrami sandwich. Still no guinea pig. What’s the deal with the cigarette? I installed iOS 11.1 yesterday, tantalized by Apple’s boasting of tons of new emoji. Confession: Emoji are great fun. Guess what I looked for right after the completed software install? Many of the 190 new emoji are skin-tone variations on new […]

,

Backlinko has a great guide to search engine optimize (SEO)

You want to read Backlinko’s “The Definitive Guide To SEO In 2018.” Backlinko is an SEO consultancy founded by Brian Dean. The “Definitive Guide” is a cheerfully illustrated infographic – a lengthy infographic – broken up into several useful chapters: RankBrain & User Experience Signals Become a CTR Jedi Comprehensive, In-Depth Content Wins Get Ready for […]

Well, what the heck, I went and did my Halloween best

Our family’s Halloween tradition: Watch “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” singing along with all the songs. Great songs! I must make my usual complaints about this Disney movie. The biggest is there’s only one major female character (Sally), who is Jack Skellington’s love interest. Would it have killed Tim Burton to have the Mayor, Doctor Finkelstein, or […]

Seeing the face of God in an eclipse

What happens when the sun goes disappears during the daytime? Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein, of Congregation Kneseth Israel in Elgin, Illinois, wrote in her Energizer Rabbi blog on Aug. 22, 2017, just before the solar eclipse: The sun is going to disappear on Monday. It is going to be hidden. The Chinese thought that a […]

, ,

The same coding bugs cause the same security vulnerabilities, year after year

Software developers and testers must be sick of hearing security nuts rant, “Beware SQL injection! Monitor for cross-site scripting! Watch for hijacked session credentials!” I suspect the developers tune us out. Why? Because we’ve been raving about the same defects for most of their careers. Truth is, though, the same set of major security vulnerabilities […]

,

Patches are security low-hanging fruit — but there’s too much of it

Apply patches. Apply updates. Those are considered to be among the lowest-hanging of the low-hanging fruit for IT cybersecurity. When commercial products release patches, download and install the code right away. When open-source projects disclose a vulnerability, do the appropriate update as soon as you can, everyone says. A problem is that there are so many patches and […]

,

My 10 favorite Star Trek episodes

For no particular reason, and in alphabetical order, my favorite episodes from the original Star Trek, aka, The Original Series. Arena Kirk and the captain of the Gorn ship are told to fight to the death as proxies for a space battle, but neither is happy about it Balance of Terror “Run Silent Run Deep” […]

, ,

Lift-and-shift vs building native cloud apps

Write new cloud-native applications. “Lifting and shifting” existing data center applications. Those are two popular ways of migrating enterprise assets to the cloud. Gartner’s definition: “Lift-and-shift means that workloads are migrated to cloud IaaS in as unchanged a manner as possible, and change is done only when absolutely necessary. IT operations management tools from the […]

, ,

DevOps is the future of enterprise software development, because cloud computing

To get the most benefit from the new world of cloud-native server applications, forget about the old way of writing software. In the old model, architects designed software. Programmers wrote the code, and testers tested it on test server. Once the testing was complete, the code was “thrown over the wall” to administrators, who installed […]