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Mac Wi-FI: Gruber Needs to Let It Go (and Maynor and Ellch Should Ignore the Challenge)

By Rich
Last Friday I was packing up for a weekend trip with my wife to Tuscon when my faithful RSS reader chased me down with the latest post on Daring Fireball. I ignored it over the weekend, but think it’s time for a response. John Gruber, ever the poker player (his words, not mine) issued an open challenge to Dave Maynor and John Ellch to crack a stock MacBook. If they win, they keep it. If they can’t break in, they pay Gruber the retail price. Today John Gruber followed up with this post, upping the ante a bit

Disclosure Humor

By Rich
Really amusing considering our current discussions: How to Handle Security Problems in Your Products This is from Thomas H. Ptacek who’s blogging at matasano.com. I’m not sure how old it is. Ptacek seems to think I’m smart (which I’ll never argue with) but have nothing new to say on disclosure. He’s probably right, but since we still don’t have industry consensus around disclosure there’s still words to be written, and old thoughts to be repackaged in new ways. This is a pretty old debate; one where I don’t expect resolution just

Totally Off Topic: A Very Sad Day

By Rich
There are very few genuine, passionate people in this world. Today, with the death of Steve Irwin, there is one less. http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/09/04/australia.irwin/index.html http://animal.discovery.com/fansites/crochunter/steve/statement.html?clik=www_wh_2 Steve was a personal hero of mine. Not because of any crazy stunts, but because of his integrity, honesty, and utter dedication to his family and what he believed in. This is just a terrible loss and the only ones that matter now are his family. Although I never met Steve I was fortunate enough to visit

Just a Spoonful of Obscurity Makes the DefCon Level Go down!

By reppep
Rich, It feels heretical, but I can agree that obscurity can provide some security. The problem comes when people count on secrecy as their only or primary security. Jim: “Oh, we don’t have to encrypt passwords. Sniffing is hard!” Bob: “Hey, thank you for those credit card numbers!” Jim: “What?” Bob: “Ha ha, my friend Joe got a job at your ISP about a year ago, and started looking for goodies.” Vendor: “Nobody will ever bother looking in the MySQL DB for the passwords.” Cracker: “0WNED! Thank you, and let’s see how many of your users use the

Introducing Chris Pepper

By Rich
I’d like to take a moment and introduce a new contributor to Securosis. Chris Pepper is a senior systems administrator at Rockefeller University in NYC and longtime contributor to TidBITS and various other publications. Chris is one of the most knowledgeable sysadmins I’ve ever known and the first person I turn to when I need command-line support on various *nix flavors or Mac. Chris and I have been friends since sometime near the end of high school (we went to different schools). I was insanely jealous of his Apple Newton and after years of debate he’s the

Encryption is Cheaper than Destruction

By Rich
I like to think Richard Stiennon and I are good friends. He was at my wedding in Mexico. I took him and his son skiing up at Copper Mountain where I used to patrol. For a time he even rented space in my condo in Boulder while I was slowly moving to Phoenix. We’d swap my car out at the airport parking lot; it was very convenient. But I never suspected he was so violent. Goes to show you that you can never really know someone. It all started with this post on his blog where he advocates smashing

What I Really Meant About Security Through Obscurity

By Rich
I’ve been publishing for in various formats for nearly 10 years now, and I have to admit I’m really enjoying some of the features of blogging. Aside from writing in a more personal voice, I actually appreciate the near instant feedback- from anyone- anywhere- of the blogosphere. I actually enjoy having my ideas challenged and debated. A couple days ago I posted a somewhat lengthy rant on disclosure. Not that I think disclosure is bad, but that we aren’t always willing to discuss the deeper motivations of those involved, on all sides, and admit that in many cases

Dealing with Security Vendor Exaggerations

By Rich
I generally don’t discuss “industry” issues here since that’s what I get paid to do at my day job. And if I start offering for free here, what I get paid to do over there, I may find myself offered the opportunity to do it for free on a permanent basis. Mike Rothman runs one of the better industry-oriented blogs. He and I used to sit across the table when he ran marketing for one of the vendors I cover. I like Mike a lot better as an analyst. He’s running an interesting debate on the problems

Security is Like Dentistry

By Rich
Guess where I spent the day? I’ll warn you now, I have a bad habit of taking metaphors too far. Security is like dentistry: It costs more than you think it should. It’s more painful than the providers ever tell you. If you don’t keep up with ongoing maintenance it costs A LOT more and is WAY more painful. It’s really hard to find a good provider. Most vendors prey on fear. Some vendors sell a pretty smile, not that their products actually work. If you make decisions based only on financial Return On Investment you’

The 3 Dirty Little Secrets of Disclosure No One Wants to Talk About

By Rich
As a child one of the first signs of my budding geekness was a strange interest in professional “lingo”. Maybe it was an odd side effect of learning to walk at a volunteer ambulance headquarters in Jersey. Who knows what debilitating effects I suffered due to extended childhood exposure to radon, the air imbued with the random chemicals endemic to Jersey, and the staccato language of the early Emergency Medical Technicians whose ranks I would feel compelled to join later in life. But this interest wasn’t limited to the realm of lights and sirens; it extended to professional subcultures
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