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Month: March 2016

Facebook Scammers

Facebook Scammers

I was surprised to see the mention in this story that Facebook scams are now a larger vector of computer infection than any other single attack method.  Now if you are a reader of this blog with any regularity, you know that I hate Facebook and refuse to use it any longer.  But, OK, I get that some people continue to use it despite my excellent advice.

If that’s you, I want to lay out some of the characteristics of these scams called out by the cited Cisco report, so you can be aware and appropriately defensive. Facebook scams include:

  • Fake news stories
  • Pages for questionable organizations
  • Games and quizzes
  • Legitimate(-ish) pages that serve malware in ads

The problem is, that by interacting with any of these you may be sharing MUCH more information about your online presence than you think.  Since Facebook updates its privacy settings protocol quite often, and frequently sets your settings back to harmful defaults, it’s all too easy to get tired of going and checking up on them every. single. time.  So you don’t, and then you click on a shady page, and the next thing you know some spammer has access to all 1,074 of your friends.

Not to mention, if you answered those “Security” questions on other sites truthfully, as many people do, your Facebook profile probably contains more than enough raw material to allow anyone to answer your questions.  By the time you get an email from your bank that your email address has been changed, it might be too late.

 

Andy’s Law

Andy’s Law

Moore’s Law, the idea that computing power density in silicon would double about every 18 months, has been more than vindicated as representing an important truth about the world we live in for at least the past 35 years.

Every law needs an executive  to put it into practice, and for most of that time, that person was Intel’s Andy Grove.  The éclat from Belgium this morning probably pushed this item out of my ken until very late today: Andy Grove died yesterday.  He was 79.

I enjoyed this remembrance of Grove that was published today.

via Dave Pell’s NextDraft 

 

Hacker Battleship Toolkit

Hacker Battleship Toolkit

BSides is fast approaching, and I was just perusing the suggested minimum toolkit for participating in the Hacker Battleship challenges.  If you want to partake (and you know that you do!), then you’d better equip:

…and there’s more if you venture into the Software-Defined Radio challenges.

What?  You haven’t registered for BSides yet?  Do I even know you?

 

Burner Phone

Burner Phone

An explanation of why you need a burner phone.

A phone you can use that is not automagically tracking your identity!

That this is a weird or foreign or seemingly-shady concept to us, might just be an indicator of how much of our privacy we have already jettisoned.

If You Think Facebook is “Harmless”

If You Think Facebook is “Harmless”

OK, it’s no secret around here that when it comes to Facebook, I am not a fan.  But I never thought that their disregard for users’ privacy would get this blatant.   Don’t go by me, though; I would never have thought that a person affiliated with the Nazis and the KKK could be a leader in a US presidential race in the 21st century.  So what the heck do I know?

Still, this article actually makes a pretty obvious point about Facebook’s new six-way “reaction” clickers.  By encouraging people to share more and more, in more and more quantifiable and discrete ways, Facebook continues to lead the “race to the bottom” in terms of online privacy.