Z Trek: The Alan Zeichick Weblog

, ,

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere!

When the little wireless speaker in your kitchen acts on your request to add chocolate milk to your shopping list, there’s artificial intelligence (AI) working in the cloud, to understand your speech, determine what you want to do, and carry…

Nothing says fake success like a pay-to-play fake executive award

“Proudly not pay-to-play, we invite all of this years’ recipients to share their success through a complementary digital certificate and copyright to the title.” So claims the award letter. We received this email to our corporate info@…
,

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…
, , ,

Let's applaud the new WiFi 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…
,

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,…
,

Use the proper Wi-Fi cable for best quality of service

A friend insists that “the Internet is down” whenever he can’t get a strong wireless connection on his smartphone. With that type of logic, enjoy this photo found on the afore-mentioned Internet: “Wi-Fi” is apparently now synonymous…
, ,

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…
, ,

Digital security tradeoffs often mean hard choices

It’s all about the tradeoffs! You can have the chicken or the fish, but not both. You can have the big engine in your new car, but that means a stick shift—you can’t have the V8 and an automatic. Same for that cake you want to have and eat.…
, ,

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…
, ,

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…
,

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…
,

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.…
,

Updating the Scrum agile process for 2017

Agility – the ability to deliver projects quickly. That applies to new projects, as well as updates to existing projects. The agile software movement began when many smart people became frustrated with the classic model of development, where…
, ,

Payment cards and bill payment services are great for criminals

Criminals like to steal money from banks. Nothing new there: As Willie Sutton famously said, “I rob banks because that's where the money is.” While many cybercriminals target banks, the reality is that there are better places to steal money,…

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,…

Scammers warn you to ignore other scams, focus on their scams instead

Isn’t this rich? I get these occasionally and they always elicit a chuckle, especially when they refer to “mafias.” Don’t reply to these emails. Delete them instead. From: "Mrs. CYNDY BANKSl" email hidden; JavaScript is required Date: December 4, 2017…

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…

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…

A great scam says that the question is you, the answer is God

This scam is comically bad, yet who knows if anyone fell for it? This is exactly how the mail came through. I’m leaving in the email addresses, well, just because. I love the question and answers below, and the attention to detail — even…
,

Passwords? Fingerprints? Face recognition? It's all questionable.

I unlock my smartphone with a fingerprint, which is pretty secure. Owners of the new Apple iPhone X unlock theirs with their faces – which is reported to be hackable with a mask. My tablet is unlocked with a six-digit numerical code, which…
,

Artificial Intelligence Got Real – In 1991

AI is an emerging technology – always, has been always will be. Back in the early 1990s, I was editor of AI Expert Magazine. Looking for something else in my archives, I found this editorial, dated February 1991. What do you think? Is AI…

Be wary of cloud download links, such as from Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive

A lot of people share files with friends or colleagues by uploading them to cloud storage and sending an access link. I do this myself, sharing folders, documents or photo collections. Malicious scammers can do the same thing. It’s…
, ,

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…
, , ,

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…
, ,

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…
, , ,

Why you should care about serverless computing

The bad news: There are servers used in serverless computing. Real servers, with whirring fans and lots of blinking lights, installed in racks inside data centers inside the enterprise or up in the cloud. The good news: You don’t need to…
, ,

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…
,

Taking a KRACK at an Internet of Things vulnerability

It’s always nice when a friend is quoted in an article. In this case, it’s one of my dearest and closest, John Romkey, founder of FTP Software. The story is, “The Internet Of Things Just Got Even More Unsafe To Use,” by Harold Stark,…
,

It’s a bot, bot, bot world: The new battle for enterprise cybersecurity

Humans can’t keep up. At least, not when it comes to meeting the rapidly expanding challenges inherent to enterprise cybersecurity. There are too many devices, too many applications, too many users, and too many megabytes of log files for…