Friday Summary: July 22, 2011

I imagine with this heat wave covering most the country you’re likely on your way to the beach – or at least some place better than work. So with me traveling, Mike suffering through physical therapy, and Rich spending time with the family, this week’s summary will be a short one. A friend sent me this video earlier in the week – I don’t know if you have seen these before, but if not take some time to look at this video on 3-D printer technology. It’s just one of the coolest things I have seen in years. I originally got interested in this a year or so ago when learning about some of the interesting stuff you can do with Arduino and I remain fascinated. Feed in a CAD design – even with non-connected moving parts – and it will literally print a physical object. If you notice, the printer in the video uses HP bubblejet printer cartridges – but filled with the resin hardener rather than ink. The technology is simple enough that you could literally build one at home. And pretty much anyone with basic CAD capability can design something and have it created instantly. As 3D printers evolve, so that they support other materials beyond plastic, And these designed can be shared – just like open source software – only in this case it’s open source hardware. What I find just as interesting is that people keep sending me links to the video, expressing their hopes and visions of the future. When teachers send me the link they talk about using these types of technologies to encourage student interest in technology. When I talk to car enthusiasts, they talk about sharing CAD models of hard-to-find car parts and simply re-fabricating door handles for a 1932 Buick. Star Trek nerds fans talk about the realization of the replicator. When I talk to friends with a political bent who are frustrated that everything is made in China, I hear that this is a disruptive technology that could make America a manufacturing center again. That is more or less the take behind the Forbes video on 3-D printers. Whatever – check out the video. On to the Summary: Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences Rich quoted by The Register in: Major overhaul makes OS X Lion king of security Favorite Securosis Posts David Mortman: Donate Your Bone Marrow. You could save a life. Do it now. Mike Rothman: Friction and Security. Wouldn’t it be great if we had KY Jelly for making everyone in IT work better together? Adrian Lane: Rise of the Security Monkeys. Only because I have a Monkey Shrine. Seriously. It’s a long story. Other Securosis Posts Incite 7/19/2011: The Case of the Disappearing Letters. Mitigating Software Vulnerabilities. Friday Summary: July 14, 2011. Favorite Outside Posts Mike Rothman: Howard Stern questions Citrix marketing strategy. You have no idea what my first thought was when I saw this headline. Though Stern knows a bit about marketing on the radio. Just goes to show how marketing technology has changed over the years. David Mortman: Phone hacking, technology and policy. Adrian Lane: Security Tips for Non-Techies. Dealing with non-technies on security issues more than I like, I feel your pain. Project Quant Posts DB Quant: Index. NSO Quant: Index of Posts. NSO Quant: Health Metrics–Device Health. NSO Quant: Manage Metrics–Monitor Issues/Tune IDS/IPS. NSO Quant: Manage Metrics–Deploy and Audit/Validate. NSO Quant: Manage Metrics–Process Change Request and Test/Approve. NSO Quant: Manage Metrics–Signature Management. NSO Quant: Manage Metrics–Document Policies & Rules. NSO Quant: Manage Metrics–Define/Update Policies and Rules. NSO Quant: Manage Metrics–Policy Review. Research Reports and Presentations Security Benchmarking: Going Beyond Metrics. Understanding and Selecting a File Activity Monitoring Solution. Database Activity Monitoring: Software vs. Appliance. React Faster and Better: New Approaches for Advanced Incident Response. Measuring and Optimizing Database Security Operations (DBQuant). Network Security in the Age of Any Computing. The Securosis 2010 Data Security Survey. Monitoring up the Stack: Adding Value to SIEM. Top News and Posts Using data to protect people from malware Comcast Hijacks Firefox Homepage: “We’ll Fix” Feds Arrest 14 ‘Anonymous’ Suspects Over PayPal Attack, Raid Dozens More Microsoft Finds Vulnerabilities in Picasa and Facebook How a State Dept. contractor funneled $52 million to secret family Anti-Sec is not a cause, it’s an excuse. Azeri Banks Corner Fake AV, Pharma Market via Krebs. Blog Comment of the Week Remember, for every comment selected, Securosis makes a $25 donation to Hackers for Charity. This week’s best comment goes to Betsy, in response to Donate Your Bone Marrow. As a recent transplant recipient with three close friends also recipients plus a best friend recently diagnosed with leukemia, your post is spot on. Signing up to be a donor is trivially simple and, as you say, a direct path to saving or vastly improving lives. Visit for a good source of information on how to donate. Thanks for your post. Share:

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Hacking Spikes and the Real Time Media

The Freakonomics blog assembled an interesting quorum on security. Industry heavyweights like Schneier weighed in on the following question: Why has there been such a spike in hacking recently? Or is it merely a function of us playing closer attention and of institutions being more open about reporting security breaches? Aside from Bruce there were opinions from folks at Imperva, IronKey, Aite Group, and BAE Systems – most of it decent. Some contradictory points, but get a bunch of folks to weigh in and that’s bound to happen. In something targeted to a mass market readership, some of these folks threw in the APT and PCI terminology. Seriously. Which really underscored to me how most security folks have no fracking clue on how to talk to a non-security audience. But that’s a story for another day. Since I wasn’t invited into the quorum (sad panda), I figured I’d rant a bit on the question. So if they kind folks at Freakonomics invited me to participate (hint, hint), here’s what I’d say. In general I have to agree with Bruce Schneier. There hasn’t been a huge spike in hacking. Sure, the number of data breaches is up, but the number of stolen identities is way down. The real change is the increased reporting on hacking. That’s right – security has finally come into your living room. And it’s a scary place for most folks. For instance, a few months back the Anonymous hacker collective broke into the website of Westboro Baptist Church – on live TV. Unless you’ve been to the Black Hat conference or a similar technical forum, you probably haven’t seen a lot of computer attacks happen live. That was cool. It was newsworthy. So the media picked up on this hacking stuff. Combined with the disclosure of previously off-limits information on sites like WikiLeaks and Pastebin, now you have real news. When the contact information of undercover Arizona police officers is posted on the Internet, or the tactics of The News of the World come to light, it’s going to make news. And it has. We do have more visible attacks as well. When hackers take down Sony’s PlayStation Network for weeks, that’s newsworthy. Steal some plans for the Joint Strike Fighter, which happened a few years ago, and it barely makes news. Take down a multi-player game and all hell breaks loose. This is the world we live in. We can talk about the increasing sophistication of the hackers (as a number of them did), but that’s crap. Most of these attacks have not been sophisticated at all. We can also talk about the laws requiring data breach disclosure, but that’s also crap. Disclosures have been happening for years, and this mainstreaming of hacking is much more recent. Compounding the issue is the real-time media cycle. Driven by anyone with a computer Tweeting whatever they want, and dimwit media outlets running with it without proper fact checking (or, often, even understanding what they’re saying), and you have a perfect way to game the system. We see it every day with the NFL labor negotiations. Some player – perhaps clued in but just as likely not – tweets something, and everyone thinks it’s gospel. Within seconds it’s broadcast on ESPN and NFL Network. It’s on TV so it must be right, right? It’s not gospel. It’s not anything besides what’s always been happening. Now it’s in plain sight, and that’s uncomfortable for most folks. Especially the ones who find their corporate and personal secrets on public web sites. Share:

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