Category Archives: Privacy

Update your iOS device to 9.3.5

There is a 3-part bug in iOS software that can allow someone to install malicious software on your iPhone, iPad, etc. The net result is that your entire device is at risk including passwords, camera and other sensitive data. The exploit has been used to gain access of dissidents and news source devices. Here is …

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Smart Phone Security

On April 17, 2016, the CBS show 60 Minutes presented a segment by Sharyn Alforsi on how hackable smart phones are. It’s a pretty alarming report and I’d highly recommend that you watch it first before you continue to read this post. The purpose of this post is my attempt to put this report into …

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Update on encryption issue post the Paris attacks

A couple days ago, I posted comments about the tension between the need for reliable and totally secure encryption and the needs for law enforcement to be able to access messages with the goal of finding terrorists before they act. See Privacy in the Wake of the Paris Attacks. An article in today’s Boston Globe …

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Privacy in the wake of the Paris attacks

Like the vast numbers of people around the globe, I’m appalled and saddened by the events of November 13, 2015 in Paris. I feel for the families as well as Western culture which, like 9-11, as taken a huge hit. Which brings me to the issue of private and secure communication and data. A number of …

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Credit card skimmers

I’d like to approach a topic which might not exactly be part of the purview of this blog but it is related and that’s skimmer fraud. Most likely, you’ll run into skimmers at ATMs and at exposed point-of-sale terminals like those on gas pumps. So, what’s a skimmer?  It’s a device that attaches to the credit …

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The Internet of Things

There is an interesting article in this week’s New York Times: Why ‘Smart’ Objects May Be a Dumb Idea. In it, the author Zeynep Tufekci, notes that with the rapid proliferation of smart things, enough hasn’t been done to secure them from hacking. There have been several examples recently of cars being hacked to demonstrate the dangers. …

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Directives by email? Think twice …

Recently, I watched one of my favorite mini-series, Band of Brothers, which describes the (mostly) real exploits of the 101st Airborne Division during WWII. There’s a funny scene (and funny scenes were in short supply) in the film where during a training mission, one of the character’s pretended to be a general, yelling a command …

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Microsoft scam with a dark twist

Over the past few years, there have been a continuing barrage of calls from people claiming to be from Microsoft offering to “fix” the malware that they’ve detected on my and likely your computer.  At my house, I’ve gone through periods where I’ve received several of these calls in a single evening. What’s unsettling is that the callers …

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Ignore SSL/TSL warnings at your own peril

Every once in a while, a warning will pop up that says something like: The site does not have a security certificate that is trusted! or The site has an expired security certificate! with the options to proceed to the site or back away. Many (most?) of us simply click through to the site, assuming …

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Phishing scams leveraging Anthem Breach

By now you’ve likely heard about the sophisticated security breach at Anthem health insurance provider. It’s been reported that up to 80 million healthcare records, including social security numbers have been compromised. What I didn’t realize until recently was the value to criminals of healthcare records.  It turns out that healthcare records make it easier …

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