Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

Discussing Internet security in (mostly) plain English

  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    What else makes hackers tick?

    • 1 Comments
    In my previous post , which is taken from a series that Stratfor has run recently, we looked at some of the motivations of hackers. Let's take a look at some more. Altruism The tenets of altruism vary greatly, depending on the person subscribing to it...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    What makes hackers tick?

    • 2 Comments
    Why do hackers do what they do?  Are they motivated by something?  Altruism?  Greed?  Strafor examined this in one of their recent articles, parts of which I have below with some additional comments from me. The personal motivations...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Coders, crackers and bots, oh my!

    • 1 Comments
    There are more than just blue, black and white hat hackers. There are a few more types of folks out there that don't fit into the above categories. This article is taken from Stratfor with some commentary by myself. Coders Many of the hackers described...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Black Hats, White Hats, Crackers and Bots

    • 3 Comments
    One of the other web sites I subscribe to is Stratfor .  It's a global intelligence website and doesn't really have much to do with spam.  But I like politics so I read it.  They have some articles which you can get for free, but the better...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Does nobody buy stuff in spring?

    • 4 Comments
    I'm not familiar with retail trends (which is made obvious by the fact that whenever I buy stocks in the retail sector I lose money) but I have observed an interesting spam phenomenon that has held true in each of 2006, 2007 and 2008.  The peak spam...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Speaking of back doors...

    • 4 Comments
    A couple of weeks ago, I posted three posts about security and back doors.  My point was that in computer systems, secret back doors are useful to certain people but inherently weaken the overall security of the system. Well, just yesterday, I drove...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Microsoft takes down a botnet

    • 2 Comments
    There's an article on InfoWorld where Microsoft takes credit for taking down the Storm botnet.  To briefly summarize the article, Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool is designed to get rid of malware and spyware.  This tool is distributed...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    I'm Gonna Git You Spamma!

    • 1 Comments
    A friend of mine sent me this link to a spoof of a 70's type B-movie starring a spammer, or rather, how to get a spammer.  I thought it was clever.
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Spoofing inside a walled garden

    • 4 Comments
    Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has described Facebook as a walled garden, that is to say, inside is very nice but only certain people can get in.  Facebook is based on trust, only friends can view your profile and not just any old person can talk...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    A comparison of antispam vendors

    • 3 Comments
    InfoWorld recently released a report where they compared the effectiveness of various spam filters.  It's mostly about on-premise anti-spam appliances.  They do touch on hosted solutions but don't go into much detail.  At the end, they...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Websense reports on breaking Hotmail's CAPTCHA

    • 1 Comments
    I've blogged about broken CAPTCHA's in the past, but I thought I'd touch on it again.  Websense is reporting on their discovery that a new botnet is breaking Hotmail's CAPTCHA in order to send out spam.  It really is a nice report and demonstrates...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Comcast's defense

    • 1 Comments
    I just posted on e360 losing its case against Comcast, so I thought I would look a bit into Comcast's defense, available at this link here . e360 had a long list of allegations against Comcast.  Many of them were answered by Comcast saying "Comcast...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    E360 gets its cased tossed out

    • 3 Comments
    I'm always the last spam blogger to comment on these legal cases.  I'll continue in that tradition by throwing in my two cents.  SpamSuite has a copy of the ruling which is only seven pages long.  Some highlights from the document: Plaintiff...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    A little bit more on security and back doors

    • 3 Comments
    Continuing on from my previous posts, I thought I'd talk a bit more about one of the hallmarks of my designs - the ability to override automated algorithms. As a stock trader, there are two types of systems.  Mechanical trading and discretionary...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    A little more on security and back doors

    • 4 Comments
    Following on from my previous post, I thought I'd talk a little bit about the designs of the projects that I am in charge of.  Now to any of my Microsoft superiors who may be reading this post, fear not.  I have never put any security back doors...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Security and back doors

    • 1 Comments
    The other day I was talking to one of our new Program Managers who comes from a computer security company.  I jokingly said to him "Great!  We use your products, now you can tell us all the back doors to get around your product's security...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    The Kniz paradox

    • 1 Comments
    One of the reasons I sometimes refer to Safe Senders is that there is a misconception, I believe, that with enough Safe Senders you can become more aggressive on spam. This might sound good in theory but it doesn't work in practice.  In fact, it...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    More on Safe Senders

    • 1 Comments
    Following up from my previous post , how do we do safe senders?  On the MAIL FROM in the SMTP conversation?  Or the one in the message headers?  The message headers is more intuitive but there are drawbacks. Consider the SMTP protocol. ...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    The origins of hacker attacks

    • 1 Comments
    Here's an article from the March 31, 2008 issue of Investors Business Daily: About half of all hacker attacks originate from the .edu domain used by colleges, according to data recently compiled by network security experts at Microsoft.  The software...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Spoof-and-compromise spam technique

    • 3 Comments
    An antispam technique that has caused some pain in recent days for some customers is that of compromising a user's email account and then using it to send out spam.  This is an example of what I have earlier referred to as diplomatic immunity - hiding...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Spammers have broken my Email form

    • 2 Comments
    If you want to contact me through this blog, you can click the Email link at the top of the page, fill out a form and send it to me.  This prevents my personal email alias from being exposed and spammers harvesting it.  In theory it should prevent...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    The concept of Safe Senders

    • 2 Comments
    Sometimes an end user wants to flag a specific sender as a safe sender, that is, they always want messages from that user to go to their inbox.  You've probably seen this in some newsletters where they say at the top or bottom of the message to please...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    The dip

    • 1 Comments
    I finished reading Michael Crichton's book Prey the other day.  I blogged about this a week and a half ago.  Basically, a cloud of molecular particles was learning to interact with its environment. Near the end of the book, the main character...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Email storage and legal requirements

    • 4 Comments
    One of the trends (might I say minimal requirements) in the hosted email filtering space today is that of email storage and archiving.  Exchange Hosted Services does it, and a number of our competitors do as well. Government regulations often spring...
  • Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

    Spammer pleads guilty to charges

    • 0 Comments
    I blogged a couple of weeks ago that accused spammer Robert Soloway's trial was beginning but that I didn't think it was likely that much would come of it.  Well, I think I have been proven wrong.  According to IDG , Soloway plead guilty and...
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