February 2006

Read “Learning from Sony: An External Perspective” on Dan’s blog: The incident represents much more than a black eye on the AV industry, which not only failed to manage Sony’s rootkit, but failed intentionally. The AV industry is faced with a choice. It has long been accused of being an unproductive use of system resources…

Read More Dan Kaminsky on Sony and Anti-Virus

Quick! Name the speaker: In a lot of countries, statements like “this person is over 18”, “this person is a citizen”, the governments will sign those statements. When you go into a chat room, for example, in Belgium, they’ll insist that you present not necessarily the thing that says who you are, but the thing…

Read More Secretly Admiring

Brian Krebs wrote about a botnet and the 733t d00d who ran one, nom de hack 0x80. Well, turns out the doctored on-line photo the Washington Post ran contained metadata identifying the gentleman’s rather small home town. Coupled with information in Krebs’ article concerning businesses near 0x80’s residence, identifying the young criminal would seem a…

Read More Metadata strike again!

Brian Skyrms’ The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure addresses a subject lying at the intersection of the social sciences, philosophy, and evolutionary biology — how it is possible for social structures to emerge among populations of selfishly-acting individuals. Using Rousseau’s example of a Stag Hunt, in which hunters face a decision between…

Read More Book Review: The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure

Yet another incident of ineffective redaction? Adam’s del.icio.us bookmarks alerted me to this blog entry, in which commenters describe the ease with which the drivers’ license numbers of witnesses to the VP’s recent hunting accident are revealed. If this stuff is worth blocking, it’s worth blocking properly.

Read More Police report on Cheney shooting incident reveals license info

How are True.com’s Valentine’s Day e-mails targeted? Very simply: one version of their e-mail targets black singles, another targets East Indian lonely hearts, and other versions target the Asian and Hispanic loveless. (Our multi-cultural bots were lucky enough to get one of each). There’s nothing wrong with that on the surface. But we wondered how…

Read More True.com Sent 'Race-Customized' Valentines

One of the most interesting and controversial aspects of Phil Zimmerman’s PGP was that it avoided any central repositories of information, relying instead on what Phil labeled the “web of trust.” The idea was that Alice “trusts” Bob, and Bob “trusts” Charlie, there’s some transitive trust that you can establish.[1] (I’m going to stop putting…

Read More The Leaf of Trust

For quite some time, Ian Grigg has been calling for security branding for certificate authorities. When making a reservation for a Joie de Vivre hotel, I got the attached Javascript pop-up. (You reach it before the providing a credit card number.) I am FORCED to ask, HOWEVER , what the average consumer is supposed to…

Read More Branded Security