Entries by Alan Zeichick

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More than a billion exposed and breached data records

From January 1, 2005 through December 27, 2017, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reported 8,190 breaches, with 1,057,771,011 records exposed. That’s more than a billion records. Billion with a B. That’s not a problem. That’s an epidemic. That horrendous number compiles data breaches in the United States confirmed by media sources or government agencies. […]

I don’t think this is a real job offer via LinkedIn

Hello, Terry, whatever your email address is. I don’t think you really have a job offer for me. For one thing, if you really connected via LinkedIn, you’d have messaged me through the service. For another, email addresses often match names. For another… well, that’s enough. Don’t reply to messages like this. Just delete them. […]

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IBNS and ASN: Intent-Based Networking Systems and Application-Specific Networking

With lots of inexpensive, abundant computation resources available, nearly anything becomes possible. For example, you can process a lot of network data to identify patterns, identify intelligence, and product insight that can be used to automate networks. The road to Intent-Based Networking Systems (IBNS) and Application-Specific Networks (ASN) is a journey. That’s the belief of […]

All the Russian girls love me!

So many women in Russia are vying for my attention… and all of them, from Alina to Veronika, are using the exact same language. Needless to say, this is a scam. The scammers try too hard. One message might have gotten someone’s attention – but receiving so many nearly-identical versions should set off alarm bells. […]

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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the future of software development

Millions of developers are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) in their projects, says Evans Data Corp. Evans’ latest Global Development and Demographics Study, released in January 2018, says that 29% of developers worldwide, or 6,452,000 in all, are currently using some form of AI or ML. What’s more, says the study, an additional […]

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Let’s applaud the new Wi-Fi security standard, WPA3

Wireless Ethernet connections aren’t necessarily secure. The authentication methods used to permit access between a device and a wireless router aren’t very strong. The encryption methods used to handle that authentication, and then the data traffic after authorization, aren’t very strong. The rules that enforce the use of authorization and encryption aren’t always enabled, especially […]

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How Arizona got its almost-square shape west of New Mexico

A fascinating website, “How Did Arizona Get its Shape?,” shows that continental expansion in North America led to armed conflicts with Native American groups. Collectively known as the American Indian Wars, the conflicts began in the 1600s, and continued in various forms for the next several centuries. Multiple conflicts occurred during the U.S.-Mexican War, as […]

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No more mansplaining: Commandments for clergy – and all lay leaders

“Thou shalt not refer winkingly to my taking off my robe after worship as disrobing.” A powerful essay by Pastor Melissa Florer-Bixler, “10 commandments for male clergy,” highlights the challenges that female clergy endure in a patriarchal tradition — and one in which they are still seen as interlopers to church/synagogue power. And in this era […]

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OWASP and mainframe articles for Enterprise.nxt Insights did quite well

I’m #1! Well, actually #4 and #7. During 2017, I wrote several article for Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s online magazine, Enterprise.nxt Insights, and two of them were quite successful – named as #4 and #7 in the site’s list of Top 10 Articles for 2017. Article #7 was, “4 lessons for modern software developers from 1970s […]

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The future tech user-interface: It’s all about speech

Amazon says that that a cloud-connected speaker/microphone was at the top of the charts: “This holiday season was better than ever for the family of Echo products. The Echo Dot was the #1 selling Amazon Device this holiday season, and the best-selling product from any manufacturer in any category across all of Amazon, with millions […]

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Malware damages Android phones. Are IoT devices next?

Software can affect the performance of hardware. Under the right (or wrong) circumstances, malware can cause the hardware to become physically damaged – as the cyberattack on Iran’s centrifuges provided in 2010, and which an errant coin-mining malware is demonstrating right now. Will intentional or unintentional damage to IoT devices be next? Back in late […]

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Get ready for Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) cyberattacks

Man-in-the-Middle (MITM or MitM) attacks are about to become famous. Famous, in the way that ransomware, Petya, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), and credit-card skimmers have become well-known. MITM attacks go back thousands of years. A merchant writes a parchment offering to buy spices, and hands it to a courier to deliver to his supplier […]

The FBI and Secret Service view of cyber criminals

Law enforcement officials play a vital role tracking down and neutralizing cyber criminals. Theirs is a complex, often thankless, mission. Here are some insights shared by two current, and one former,  high-level officials from U.S. law enforcement, who spoke at the NetEvents Global Press & Analyst Summit, in San Jose, Calif., in late September. Based in […]

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 […]

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Why you need Security & Systems Operations – SysSecOps

SysSecOps is a new phrase, still unseen by many IT and security administrators – however it’s being discussed within the market, by analysts, and at technical conferences. SysSecOps, or Systems & Security Operations, describes the practice of combining security groups and IT operations groups to be able to make sure the health of enterprise technology […]

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 […]

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Four tactics to prevent and manage ransomware

Ransomware is genuine, and is threatening individuals, services, schools, medical facilities, governments – and there’s no indication that ransomware is stopping. In fact, it’s probably increasing. Why? Let’s be honest: Ransomware is probably the single most efficient attack that hackers have ever created. Anybody can develop ransomware utilizing easily available tools; any cash received is […]