Terry Zink: Security Talk

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

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  • Blog Post: Former NSA Director Keith Alexander speaks at MIRcon 2014

    Last week, I attend MIRcon , Mandiant’s conference on Advanced Persistent Threats. One of the keynote addresses was given by Keith Alexander, the former head of the NSA. I enjoyed his talk, it was a good one. What Others Are Saying Here is Kelly Jackson Higgins’ take on his talk, from an article on DarkReading...
  • Blog Post: I have been fighting spam for 10 years

    A week and a half ago, I “celebrated” my 10th year fighting spam. I originally joined Frontbridge in July 2004, and 10 years later I am still with Frontbridge after it was acquired by Microsoft. Since that time, it has been known as: Frontbridge (how almost everyone in the email filtering community still...
  • Blog Post: I got locked out of my house this past week. This reminds me a bit of the NSA.

    This post probably contains more information than you wanted to know. My wife last week was out of town, and during the week we had our windows replaced from single-pane to double-pane. Single-pane windows are very cold in the winter, the heat just gets sucked right out of them. The window guys came...
  • Blog Post: Edward Snowden on the defensive?

    I was reading in the New York Times the other day an article entitled Snowden Defends Query to Putin on Surveillance . The article references a question-and-answer session with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the interview, Snowden shows up unexpectedly and asks President Putin and asks him whether...
  • Blog Post: The Internet of Everything: Why I will never be out of a job

    Business Insider recently posted a slide deck about the next big thing: The Internet of Everything. This is basically about how all of our devices will soon be connected to the Internet. You can watch the slide deck here (one scrolling continuous page, easy to read): Internet of Everything: 2014 [Slide...
  • Blog Post: According to the World Economic Forum, I am helping to fight the seventh most dangerous global risk

    This is going to be a long post. How I spent my weekend This weekend I took a quick glance at the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks for 2014 report. The WEF is a Swiss nonprofit foundation that describes itself as an international organization that is dedicated to improving the state of the world by...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft, the NSA, the Backfire Effect and how we all make bad decisions

    A couple of weeks ago, I read a blog post on the Wall Street Journal where they were commenting on comments made by Brad Smith, Microsoft’s top legal counsel. His comments were in response to latest revelations that the NSA sometimes sniffs network traffic between data centers: Microsoft’s top lawyer...
  • Blog Post: I worry more about being hacked than being tracked, and I am in the majority

    This is going to be a long post. Please read through the whole thing before you comment. I have been following this NSA spy-story for several months now ever since Edward Snowden started revealing back in the summer that the US government was spying on everyone. At the time, I wasn’t sure how I felt...
  • Blog Post: How is my password manager experiment working so far?

    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that I had started experimenting with a password manager . I thought I’d give an update on how it’s working for me so far. Here’s what I do: I use my Windows 8 laptop as my main machine at work. Most of the time when I want to save a new password, I add it to ComboPass...
  • Blog Post: I am finally experimenting with a password manager. Here are the results so far.

    I’ve been aware of password managers for years but I never used one – I was skeptical. While I understand their benefits, I always thought they would be too inconvenient to use. I’m going to assume that you’re aware of what these things are – little pieces of software that keep track of all the passwords...
  • Blog Post: I don’t have to do anything and my credit card information gets breached

    Yesterday, while reading a book on my Kindle app (on my PC), I got an email from American Express with the subject line “Fraud Protection Alert.” “Fraud protection?” I said (out loud, to no one in particular, except for possibly my cat who did not respond). Yes, fraud protection. In the email message...
  • Blog Post: Guest post: Lessons learned from the recent Mandiant report about APT1

    Today’s post is a guest post from Megan Horner, Social Media Manager & Marketing Coordinator of trainACE. It is regarding a recent security report issued by Mandiant , entitled Units ">APT1: Exposing One of China’s Cyber Security Units ">Units . Megan, take it away! Lessons Learned...
  • Blog Post: A whole slew of security reports

    If you’re looking for something to read, say, the latest trends on Internet threats, I have a whole bunch of them here for your online perusal. I’ve gone through them and I have a highlight from each of them: Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report, Volume 13 (3 MB) Microsoft’s...
  • Blog Post: Cyber security conference in Asia

    I was contacted by a reader of mine about an upcoming conference in 2013 in Asia – the 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Government Asia 2013 , to be held in Kuala Lumpur. I’m always interested by conferences over in Asia because I have so much less visibility into that part of the world. It feels like the...
  • Blog Post: Oh, Microsoft, where art thou?

    In its recent Q3 2012 Threat Evolution , Kaspersky reported on the Top Ten Threats that it saw during the previous three months. Here they are with the percentage of users on whose computer the vulnerability was detected: 35% - Oracle Java 22% – Oracle Java again 19% – Adobe Flash Player 19% – Adobe...
  • Blog Post: Israel also looking to a cyber army national reserve

    The same day I wrote my blog post US potentially looking to establish a cyber army national reserve , I stumbled across another article in the Telegraph: Israel invests millions in drive for elite cyber warriors . But unlike the US national reserve cyber version, the Israeli version is more about fighting...
  • Blog Post: The relationship between economics, malware and piracy

    Today, I read a report released by the Legatum Institute where they published their 2012 Prosperity Index . In their research, they surveyed 142 countries and ranked them against eight variables: their relative Economies, Entrepreneurship & Opportunity, Governance, Education, Health, (personal) Safety...
  • Blog Post: U.S. potentially looking to establish a cyber “army” national reserve

    <My fist slams down on the desk in a satisfied act of self-congratulations> I knew it! A couple of weeks ago on my blog, I wrote a blog post entitled Will cyberwar create new rules of engagement ? In it, I mused about the possibility of whether or not the government would ever draft people from...
  • Blog Post: Is the term “cyberwarfare” overstating the case?

    At the Virus Bulletin conference last month, Andrew Lee from ESET gave a talk entitled “ Cyberwar: Reality or Weapon of Mass Distraction ?” In it, Lee talks about how the term “cyberwar” is thrown around a lot these days. However, he disagreed with the use of the term because it uses inflationary language...
  • Blog Post: A couple of unsurprising tidbits on passwords

    Digital Trends published an article yesterday entitled What’s the Worst Password of 2012 ? Retaining the number one spot as the least secure password for yet another year, people that continue to use the phrase “password” as their personal password remain at the highest risk when it comes to hacking...
  • 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: The pros and cons of Bring Your Own D(evice|estruction)

    At the Virus Bulletin conference this past September in Dallas, Righard Zwienenberg from ESET gave a presentation entitled BYOD . BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, but he reframed the acronym to “Bring Your Own Destruction”, that is, he alluded to the security implications of bringing your own device...
  • Blog Post: Do tech-savvy readers practice what they preach?

    While at the Virus Bulletin conference in Dallas last week, Sabina Raluca Datcu and Ioana Jelea of BitDefender gave a presentation entitled “ Practise what you preach: a study on tech-savvy readers’ immunity to social engineering techiques .” In this talk, presenters spoke about a study they conducted...
  • Blog Post: What do consumers know about Antivirus?

    I’ve been at the Virus Bulletin 2012 conference in Dallas, Texas this week and there have been a lot of good presentations. I took notes on over 20 of them and thought I’d write about some of the more memorable ones. One of them was a presentation entitled Malware and Mrs Malaprop: what do consumers...
  • Blog Post: The psychology of spamming, part 1 - How our brains work

    In honor of the Virus Bulletin conference next week in Dallas, at which I am presenting my ideas for email over IPv6, I thought I’d post my 2010 paper on this blog (plus, I need fresh material and I currently have writer’s block, plus I am busy with other projects). I’m breaking it...
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