Interesting predictions

It is interesting to watch a predictive market that is comprised of international security analysts: [Link--->]

Funniest thing I’ve read all week…

"China denied accusations by two U.S. lawmakers that it hacked into congressional computers, saying Thursday that as a developing country it wasn't capable of sophisticated cybercrime." [Link--->]

Wargames and the start of the hacker era

Neat little essay snagged via Slashdot.  Wargames and Sneakers still stand as two of my favorite films about computer security. I thought that WarGames also merited mentioning (in addition to it being a terrific film) because of the reaction that it engendered upon its release. With its depiction of teens hacking into school systems to change their own grades, and then breaking into military-grade mainframes and coming a hair's-breadth from nuking the whole planet, WarGames initiated unusual paranoia in the mainstream press about the power of computers. I remember one CBS Evening News report at the time that seriously questioned whether parents should allow their children to access the outside world via their personal computers at home. A…

Virtual worlds documentary on Cinemax

The long awaited "first-ever" documentary shot entirely in Second Life (as claimed by HBO films which bought the rights to this film) started airing last night on Cinemax. Cinemax Reel Life presents an unusual film that tells the story of a man who doesn't really exist, at least not in the flesh-and-blood world: Molotov Alva, a virtual character that filmmaker Douglas Gayeton conceived to escape the real world. The first documentary shot entirely in a virtual online platform, Molotov Alva and His Search for the Creator: A Second Life Odyssey explores this new plane of interaction, and introduces us to its inhabitants. [Link--->] This has been a long time coming, and to be honest, I can't understand what took so long given the simplicity…

All your bots are belong to us

Good article at Wired, but even more entertaining discussion that follows it: While most government agencies are struggling to keep their computers out of the latest Russian botnets, Col. Charles W. Williamson III is proposing that the Air Force build its own zombie network, so it can launch distributed denial of service attacks on foreign enemies. In the most lunatic idea to come out of the military since the gay bomb, Williamson writes in the Armed Force Journal that the Air Force should deliberately install DDoS code on its unclassified computers, as well as civilian government machines. He even wants to rescue old machines from the junk bin to enlist in the .mil botnet army. [Link--->]

Slowly bringing all sites back up

Thanks for your patience.  Has not been fun.

Coming flu epidemic

Employers should be informed of a known flu epidemic set to hit mid-week, which could significantly impact employee turn-out and/or performance.  (Link--->)

Supply chain security

Great regarding a briefing the FBI gave on counterfeit Cisco equipment being sold to U.S. companies and government agencies. Link--->

Test post using MacSpeech Dictate

I am comprising this entire post using MacSpeech Dictate. I'm incredibly impressed at how well the speech recognition works. I've use the software already to send several e-mail messages and to converse with people on Instant Messenger. This concludes this portion of our test.

Flashback to 1997 with Cyber Manhattan Project

So Chertoff is speaking at the RSA conference and we're getting more play regarding a Cyber Manhattan Project.  This idea is anything but new.  In 1997, Winn Schwartau established a groundswell on the same issue but couldn't secure adequate government support despite having pulled together some of the top minds in the industry.  Several years ago, Richard Clarke (while still at the White House) asked several of us to do the same thing again, resulting in the Cyberconflict Studies Association (which is not rolling in government grants for our important research).  It is hard to get excited over the words being thrown around again given the lack of support for other initiatives. The federal government has launched a cyber security "Manhattan…

Second Life Terrorism – Reality Check

Some interesting factoids coming out of the hearings held last week on multiplayer games/virtual worlds like Second Life.  The most insightful (in my perspective) having to do with the amount of money that flows out of SL: To prevent money laundering or financial crimes, Second Life polices the financial activity of its members, and scrutinizes any withdrawals over $10, Rosedale said. "We believe that the degree of scrutiny that is created by [policing methods] is quite rich and the pattern recognition of non-standard behavior … is easy enough to spot," according to Rosedale. (Link --->) Rosedale also goes on to state that the average withdrawal from SL is $1.00 USD.  Yes, that decimal point is in the right place. Obviously, SL isn't going…

Channeling Tanji these days

Matthew Devost, president of Total Intelligence Solutions, a risk management firm based in Arlington, Va., said for federal law enforcement agencies, the intelligence benefit of leaving such sites operating is often greater than shutting them down. "In some cases, it may be that companies and or the government is aware of these sites, but what they post there gives us intelligence that we'd rather have," Devost said. "Sometimes there's a general concern that if you shut down these sites, while they might move to somewhere else online where they start making it password protected or otherwise harder to get access to the content." (Washington Post)

The long tail of the television industry

Laughing Squid notes that CBS is placing its back catalog of television shows online for free.  Brilliant move as this will allow them to gain additional advertising revenue from older shows.  I'd happily watch the old seasons of Star Trek if I can do so at my own pace and on demand.  Sure, I can buy the DVDs, but I am not a big enough fan to do that and DVDs have to be stored and maintained.  I'd rather have that content in the cloud. The only issue will be making sure the quality is good enough to watch.  I'd love to see more archives come into the cloud, especially old historical material such as presidential debates and old newcasts which would be interesting to watch and put in today's context.

I backed the wrong standard…

Well, that sucks. Link---> 

Quote of the day…

"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road." Stephen Hawkings

MacHeads: The Movie

I don't know whether to be delighted or dreadful...Link--->