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Security

Top Business Scams to Watch For

July 19, 2014

As a young child I was fortunate enough to get to work with my father and he used to teach me about things to look out for in business. The first story I ever heard about unethical business practices was a company that sent small bills for snow plowing to companies and the accounts receivable departments assumed they were legitimate and just paid them. Only when they sent a bill to an area of the country where there was no snow did they get caught.

The premise of the scam was that a company is likely in need of the service you are fictitiously billing for, so there is a high degree of likelihood they will pay because the bill is too small to check.

9 Shocking Facts about the Nasdaq Breach by Russia

July 17, 2014

In October 2010, the FBI determined malware, most likely from an intelligence agency of another country had snuck into the Nasdaq’s central servers.

The following facts are the most shocking:



  1. Several different groups were operating freely on Nasdaq computers, some of which may have been in the exchange’s networks for years, including criminal hackers and Chinese cyberspies.
  2. Basic records of the daily activity occurring on the company’s servers, which would have helped investigators trace the hackers’ movements, were almost nonexistent.
  3. The website run by One Liberty Plaza’s building management company had been laced with a Russian-made exploit kit known as Blackhole, infecting tenants who visited the page to pay bills or do other maintenance.
  4. The situation was so bad, one investigator referred to Nasdaq’s computer banks as “the dirty swamp.”
  5. There were indications that a large cache of data was stolen, though proof was scarce, and it was hard to see what was spirited out.
  6. A subsequent investigation showed systematic security failures riddling some of the most important U.S. financial institutions.
  7. Many of them were vulnerable to the same attack that struck Nasdaq. They were spared only because the hackers hadn’t bothered to try.
  8. By mid-2011, investigators began to conclude that the Russians weren’t trying to sabotage Nasdaq.

Is the US in Store for Another 9/11?

July 3, 2014

Let me start off apologizing for writing about a non-tech topic and also for a somewhat sensational headline but I believe what I have to say here supersedes my responsibility to just cover the typical topics you come here to see. I have been traveling a great deal lately and as a result signed up for and was accepted to the TSA Pre check lanes at the airport meaning a more relaxed screening as shoes remain on, laptops stay in the bag, etc. The only issue is over the last few months, before I was accepted to the program, I have been chosen at random with hundreds of other passengers in Indiana, New York and Orlando to go through this line.

The point is, to be accepted in Pre you have to give fingerprints, submit to a background check, etc.

Surprise! Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Not Airplane Friendly

July 1, 2014

Whether you think the Surface Pro 3 is a good product or not depends a great deal on the applications you plan on using and the specific needs you have. It is better than an iPad and a MacBook Air in many ways and also worse. While I have had about a week to use the device I have found it is a lot more productivity-inducing than an iPad Air if you get tremendous volumes of email like I do. Specifically, Outlook 2013 is a much better interface than the email client on an iPad.

Alcatel-Lucent: NFV Can be More Secure than Legacy

June 16, 2014

As NFV and SDN usher in a new era of software telcos, there are just so many pieces which have to be put into place to enable solutions from disparate vendors to interoperate smoothly. Moreover, carriers are always looking for one throat to choke and NFV really opens up the carrier network is so many new ways that determining who is responsible for issues is more difficult.

Security has always been a major focus for operators. Indeed, when their networks were proprietary and thought to be bulletproof, it was determined a simple whistle distributed in a box of Captain Crunch cereal could give access to hackers.

Edward Snowden Interview is Quite Revealing

May 29, 2014

If you missed the Edward Snowden interview what you should know is he tried to use proper whistle-blower channels to get the word out about the US population being spied upon. This has been confirmed in fact by NBC News. He was generally told to shut up and it was explained to him he better not go public with the information he had.

Moreover, he went on to say that virtually all electronics can be turned into a microphone remotely and other truly scary things to anyone who takes their freedom and civil liberties seriously.

One other point is he says he was at a much higher position in our intelligence services than the government and president has told us. Take a look and decide for yourself who you believe is more trustworthy.





Metaswitch Forum 2014 Live Blog

May 13, 2014


Metaswitch Forum 2014 will kick off soon, stay tuned.

Any second now - its 8:05 am in New Orleans

The event has kicked off with a keynote presented by Steve Gleave - which has been preceded by a few well-produced videos. The idea so far is tying in the theme of the event "The brains of the new global network" with Steve's brain. The cast of characters behind the scenes show how they tinker with Steve's brain - he eventually comes out on stage on a Segway with Harley Davidson sound-effects.


Russia and US Internet Freedoms Go In Opposite Directions

May 7, 2014

Edward Snowden left the US and fled to Russia after effectively causing the largest security leak in US history and today, both countries seem to be going in somewhat opposite directions with regards to electronic freedom. In the case of the US, there are two competing bills which are designed to limit bulk collection of phone records. The Guardian has a good write up of the situation.

In summary, there is the The USA Freedom Act, designed to prevent the US government from collecting US phone data in bulk, passed by the House Judiciary Committee with a 32 to zero bi-partisan vote, making it the first surveillance reform bill to proceed out of committee and to the House floor.

Will Target CEO Removal Help Boost IT Security?

May 6, 2014




Corporate security needs to be taken very seriously – especially in light of the fact that hackers can be nation-states, organized crime syndicates or other groups with significant resources. To date, companies in the US and elsewhere have shown they are vulnerable to attacks. And to be quite honest, with all the software which companies run, each with frequent updates and patches, corporate networks can seem more like Swiss cheese than Fort Knox.


Still, companies can and need to do more.

How SmartSenseCom uses Microphones to Detect Drone Threats

April 29, 2014



A frequent concern I have shared these past months is drones used as weapons – whether they are equipped with firearms or explosives. Security today is quite-often a two-dimensional affair, especially in outdoor arenas such as stadiums where a pat down and metal detector are typically used to ensure there aren’t any dangerous items being brought in. When a third-dimension becomes available to criminals and terrorists, the situation quickly spirals in complexity.

The question civilized society has to ask is how do we prevent crime and terrorism as the threat evolves from 2D to 3D?







Enter SmartSenseCom Inc., a company in semi-stealth mode using ultra-sensitive microphones (PDF) to detect the electric motors associated with flying objects.

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