Anonymous and the Megaupload Aftermath: Hacktivism or Just Plain Ugly?

Yesterday’s announcement by the US Department of Justice that the operators of file-sharing site Megaupload had been indicted for operating a criminal enterprise that generated over $175 million by trafficking in over half a billion dollars of pirated copyrighted material has sent shockwaves across the Internet. The accuracy of those figures may be questionable, but

Beware of SOPA Scams

Tomorrow, on January 18, 2012, dozens of popular websites covering a diverse range of subjects will be blacking out their home pages in protest of the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).  Some of these websites are well-known, such as the English language web site for the encyclopedic Wikipedia and quirky news site Boing Boing,

Happy International Children’s Day!

International Children’s Day is June 1st and the event is almost as old as David Harley and I combined! The event was started in 1925 in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Conference for the Well-being of Children. To join in the observance of International Children’s day we thought it might be worthwhile to share some

An Amazing Story – The Soul of a New Machine

As many of us cruise the information superhighway (haven’t heard that for a while have you) on 64-bit machines, it might be a good idea to take a breath and remember a pioneer. Back in the days when a small team at IBM was building a general purpose 8 bit personal computer, Tom West and

Facebook’s Search and Destroy

An article came out yesterday from Clement Genzmer who is a security engineer at Facebook.  His tagline is "searching and destroying malicious links".  Those of us in the business of digital security and safety can certainly identify with that, especially the part where we aim to identify the criminals and work with law enforcement to

Will You Be Accused of Collecting Child Pornography

Throughout the years we have advised that you should use encryption on your home WI-FI. There are ma y reasons for this, including keeping your data confidential, but not having encryption enabled on your home WI-FI can put you at serious risk of having your doors knocked down and being arrested for downloading child pornography.

Information Wants to be Free – So Epsilon Thinks

Information Wants to be Free If you are a member of the technology advocate crowd that uses this slogan for a mantra, you are going to love the Epsilon Company. Reports starting coming out on April 2nd that the mega email marketing giant, Epsilon was breached and millions of names and email addresses of customers

Samsung and I Got Bit by a VIPRE

Yesterday I reported that Samsung laptops were infected with a keystroke logger. This certainly appeared to be the case as a Samsung supervisor reportedly confirmed ( that Samsung shipped infected laptops. Samsung has since indicated that this is not the case. This incident has some very important lessons. My entire information supply was polluted and

Got a Samsung? You Got Owned

[Final Update… I think –  THERE WAS NO KEYSTROKE LOGGER please see to find out what happened.] [Update – There will be a new blog about this incident. I relied upon the information at that Samsung had confirmed the presence of the keystroke logger in asserting that the laprops were infected. Since then

More Spam for users

It is unfortunate, but a fact that many organizations are going to suffer hacks. The internet was designed to be a cybercriminal’s dream. That was not the intent of the internet, but the design certainly is such that it serves the purpose well. Fortunately it also serves many great purposes quite well too. News came

Smart Phone, Bad App

As the number of apps for smartphones continues to grow, perhaps your paranoia about such apps should be growing as well. In an unusual statement, the former director of the CIA has warned that the government isn’t sharing enough information about cyber security. In an article at, retired four-star Gen. Michael Hayden is quoted

Sticky Criminals

CBS in San Francisco is reporting a rather novel cash machine attack. . It seems that crooks are applying superglue to the clear, enter, and cancel buttons on cash machines at banks. A customer goes to the cash machine, inserts their card and enters their PIN. Then the victim notices the enter key is not

Politicians Better at Security than Twitter, Yahoo, and Amazon

Recently Senator Schumer from New York wrote a letter ( to Twitter, Yahoo, and Amazon asking them to make SSL the default for internet connections. What this means is that instead of an http connection they should provide and https connection by default. This is important because with http connections you are exposed to risk Survives DDOS Attack is a popular blogging host. Recently, for unknown reasons miscreants launched a massive distributed denial of service attack (DDOS) against According to TechCrunch ( is responsible for 10% of the websites in the world. So far I have not seen anyone take responsibility for the attacks. With so many websites being hosted

When Technology Fails: Mobile Death Trap

People place way too much trust in technology. We see that time and time again as phishing attacks and rogue security programs  proliferate. Identity theft can be one of the more extreme results of believing a computer that told you the email came from a friend, but another technology can cause death if you trust

Internet Kill Switch – Armageddon Will Have To Wait

In recent months there has been a lot of discussion in the US about an Internet kill switch. The real idea behind the kill switch is not to protect the infrastructure as claimed, but rather for political control such as has been recently observed in Egypt and other countries. Proponents of the Internet kill switch

Arrested for Cheating the Cheaters

Picture from This is a really bizarre computer crimes case. A man knows of a bug in a gambling machine at casinos. He goes into the casinos, uses the machines with complete authorization, at least in some cases, if not all, asks casino staff to modify the machines and they willingly do so. The

I’ll Tell You How to Vote

A recent article at Time,8599,2025696,00.html details how an online voting system was hacked. The good news is that it was a public test and not a real election. The bad news is that real people’s information was able to be obtained. The “hackers” professor J. Alex Halderman and some of his graduate students from

Tell Me Your Secrets

An Associated Press release today indicates that the Obama administration is drafting legislation that would require companies to make it technically possible to intercept all electronic communications in the US. This would affect all of the US telephone companies, Skype, and also companies, such a RIM (Blackberry) that are based outside of the US.

Your Fantasy, A Criminal’s Dream

Fantasy sporting leagues have become very popular. A good friend of mine is into fantasy car racing teams. Other friends are into fantasy soccer (football elsewhere in the world). In the US a lot of people are into the fantasy NFL (National Football League –not soccer). Recently a researcher, Gary Rios, joined an ESPN sponsored

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