Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

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  • Blog Post: Will cyberwar create new rules of engagement? And will there be a draft?

    I read an interesting article on ReadWriteWeb yesterday entitled New Cyberwar Rules Of Engagement: Will The U.S. Draft Companies To Fight ? by Brian Proffitt. In it, Proffitt reports on a speech given by CIA director Leon Panetta to business leaders in New York City last Thursday (Oct 11). Panetta discussed...
  • Blog Post: Homeland Security, Cybercrime and terrorism, part 2

    I started rambling in my previous post about the article in Forbes .  I had something else to say and I am adding it here.  The government and industry are changing.  Government used to have a laissez-faire attitude towards botnets and malware but now they realize that they need to partner...
  • Blog Post: According to the Department of Homeland Security, cybercrime is a bigger threat than terrorism

    An article in Forbes the other day reports on US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s comments that ‘cybercrime represents the “greatest threat and actual activity that we have seen aimed at the west and at the United States” in addition to “or other than Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda-related groups...
  • Blog Post: White House announces anti-botnet initiative

    I was reading yesterday that the White House has announced an anti-botnet initiative in order to further its online safety agenda. From Engadget : The White House has been drumming up momentum for tighter internet privacy laws for a while now, and today it's furthering that online safety agenda with...
  • Blog Post: US cyber czar Howard Schmidt resigns

    The Washington Post reported a story this weekend about how the head of US cyber security Howard Schmidt is resigning from the post.  Schmidt’s resignation comes on the heels of FBI cybercrime director Shawn Henry resigning and going to work in private industry. From the WaPo: The White House’s...
  • Blog Post: SOPA fears risk blocking new cyber-security bill

    Building on my previous post about upcoming proposed cyber legislation, a couple of other articles appeared in the past couple of days that discuss the smaller likelihood of passing the bills because lawmakers are spooked that they may face another SOPA-style backlash.  From Mashable: Could CISCPA...
  • Blog Post: Upcoming proposed cyber legislation

    Yesterday I read the article Cybersecurity is entangled in Washington turf wars on Politico.  The article talked about how there are a lot of competing cyber security bills being proposed in Washington (D.C.) right now.  I thought the article was going to talk about the partisan squabbles that...
  • Blog Post: Anonymous plans to go after DNS root servers. What will be the US’s response?

    The other day on pastebin , snippets of an email conversation were posted with members of the hacking group Anonymous discussing plans to conduct DOS attacks against the Internet’s root name servers: To protest SOPA, Wallstreet, our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world...
  • Blog Post: MegaUpload disrupted; Anonymous retaliates

    In case you haven’t been following the news, the US Department of Justice seized the file-sharing site MegaUpload, taking its domain names, $50 million in assets, and coordinated with law enforcement officials in other countries to arrest key employees, as described by ars technica . MegaUpload, as the...
  • Blog Post: My views on SOPA

    During my 4-part series write up on SOPA, I approached it with a neutral tone.  I was hearing from everywhere that it was a horrible piece of legislation, but I wanted to find out for myself.  The goal was to look at it from the technical perspective and compare it to what’s going on today...
  • Blog Post: What is SOPA? And is it as bad as everyone says it is? Part 4

    Continuing on in my series on SOPA, here are some more arguments that people make against the legislation. 3. Other countries will get mad at the United States if they pass this legislation and retaliate Does anyone really think that if we start blocking offshore sites arbitrarily, other countries won...
  • Blog Post: What is SOPA? And is it as bad as everyone says it is? Part 3

    Critics have numerous complaints about SOPA. Here’s one that is designed to scare the daylights out of you: Holy Festivus! The United States is the next China, Iran and Syria! Here are a few of the complaints: 1. It will require deep packet inspection The exact requirements will depend on what the removal...
  • Blog Post: What is SOPA? And is it as bad as everyone says it is? Part 2

    Continuing on from my previous post , the SOPA process is this: A website based in China hosts a bunch of illegally obtained, copyrighted material. Let’s assume that these are all movies, and the website is called “http://myfreemovies.cn. The A-record for this website is 292.168.11.47. They make these...
  • Blog Post: What is SOPA? And is it as bad as everyone says it is? Part 1

    Back in December, after I got back from New Zealand, I was off work for a week recovering from a medical procedure.  As I was browsing through my antispam RSS feeds, I came across SOPA and PIPA.  “Allo, wot’s dis?” I said in my New Zealand accent.  I did some reading about it and planned...
  • Blog Post: How Digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet – the Most Menacing Malware in History

    This is a story that I missed when it was published last summer, but Wired has a great article about how the Stuxnet worm was discovered, analyzed, probable targets and probable authors.  If you’ve been following the e-security world for the past couple of years, none of this will be new to you...
  • Blog Post: Security News Daily’s Top 10 Stories of 2011

    As I was reading stories around the Internet, as per my daily ritual, I stumbled across Security News Daily’s Top 10 Biggest Security stories of 2011 , by Matt Liebowitz.  As I went through it, I thought to myself “What the—? Did these guys copy me ?”  There’s a lot of overlap there. ...
  • Blog Post: The Top 10 Spam, Malware and Cyber Security Stories of 2011

    Well, here we are, the start of 2012.  If you’re like me, you’ve read a bunch of stories online about the top news stories, movies and books of 2011.  But what about the top 10 cyber security stories of 2011?  That’s what I am here for, to give you the rundown! This is a very condensed...
  • Blog Post: Antispam law draws backlash

    I was reading in the Canadian Lawyer Mag that businesses in Canada are now coming to grips with the Canadian Antispam law that was passed last year.  Canada’s antispam law is much tougher than most jurisdictions.  Aside from the penalties of the law, which are steep, what differentiates it...
  • Blog Post: Putting financial fraud in perspective

    The other day, Swiss banking giant UBS said on Thursday that it was anticipating a loss of $2 billion in the third quarter due to losses by a rogue trader.  From the Associated Press : LONDON (AP) -- One man armed with only a computer terminal humbled a venerable banking institution yet again. This...
  • Blog Post: If you don’t secure your wireless network, you could get a visit from the police

    A few days ago, the Associated Press published an article highlighting a couple of cases where individuals with wireless networks that were insecure (had no password) were being investigated by the police.  The reason?  Someone piggybacking on their network used it to download illegal material...
  • Blog Post: Nice work if you can get it

    The Associated Press has run a story today about an anti-spam crusader by the name of Daniel Balsam who makes his living by suing spammers.  Here’s some excerpts from the article: Man quits job, makes living suing e-mail spammers Daniel Balsam hates spam. Most everybody does, of course. But he has...
  • Blog Post: State AGs: Craiglist should drop adult services

    I found this story today on the Associated Press: HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- State attorneys general nationwide are demanding that Craigslist remove its adult services section because they say the website cannot adequately block potentially illegal ads. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft sues Hotmail spammers

    Microsoft has pressed charges against some individuals, accusing them of using techniques designed to circumvent Hotmail’s antispam filters.  From the Microsoft Security blog: Last week the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court under the federal CAN-SPAM Act against...
  • Blog Post: Spamhaus settlement knocked down from millions to thousands

    Via TechDirt : Many years back, an "email marketing" company called e360 Insight got upset that the anti-spam advocacy group Spamhaus included e360 on its list of biggest spammers -- a list that many service providers used for spam filtering. So, it sued claiming defamation. What followed was...
  • Blog Post: More Scareware indictments

    From R&D : Posted by Tim Cranton Associate General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit Today the FBI announced federal indictments returned against three culprits charged with disseminating a major malware scheme believed to have caused $100 million in losses to victims worldwide. The scheme revolved...
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