Entries by Alan Zeichick

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 […]

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 the FedEx address is fake. Be sure to tell her your […]


Celebrate the Shehecheyanu Moments and give thanks

On this day before Thanksgiving (a U.S. holiday), let me share the concept of  Shehecheyanu Moments. The Shehecheyanu is a prayer of thankfulness. Many Jews say the prayer immediately after the first time you do or experience something new and wonderful, or right after you experience it for the first time in a long time. […]

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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 […]

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Here’s how to fight and defeat the new hackers

Let’s talk about hackers, not through the eyes of the tech industry but through the eyes of current and former U.S. law enforcement officials. It’s their job to run those people down and throw them in jail. The Federal Bureau of Investigation MK Palmore is an Information Security Risk Management Executive with the FBI’s Cyber Branch in […]

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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, […]

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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. Isolated instance from one rogue carrier? No. […]


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, and published on Forbes.com. The story talks about a serious vulnerability in […]

An heiress wants to give you money – well, a scammer, not an heiress

Here’s a classic example of a scam that cites a news story as validation that the claim is authentic, or at least credible. It’s not. Despite the scammer’s citing a famous story about an heiress bequeathing a fortune, that’s no proof that this is an heiress looking to give her millions to you. Because it […]


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 […]

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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 […]


Buying a “Best in Business” award?

You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, or you can call me Johnny or you can call me Sonny, or you can call me RayJay, or you can call me RJ… but ya doesn’t hafta call me Johnson. That’s a great line from the comedian Bill Saluga in the 1970s… but […]

A link to a famous person’s Wikipedia page means nothing

This is a common scam: The scammer pretends to be a famous person, and links to the bio or a story about that person. That means nothing. A person wants to share some gold with you, and links to a BBC story about a battle in Iraq or Afghanistan. That means nothing. A person claims […]


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” […]

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Lift-and-shift vs building native cloud apps: Two Ways, Three Tracks

Those are two popular ways of migrating enterprise assets to the cloud: Write new cloud-native applications. Lift-and-shift existing data center applications 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 […]

Hurray, Mr. Bill Gates wants to give me five million dollars!

I can’t believe my luck – Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates wants to give me $5 million. Hurray! And not only that, he’s contacting me from an email address at Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. It’s also a shame to learn that he’s sick and is going to Germany for treatment. Obviously, this is spam. […]