2016

Since 2005, this blog has had a holiday tradition of posting “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.” Never in our wildest, most chaotic dreams, did we imagine that the British would one day quote these opening words: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to…

Read More Happy Independence Day!

I’m excited to see the call for papers for Passwords 2016. There are a few exciting elements. First, passwords are in a category of problems that someone recently called “garbage problems.” They’re smelly, messy, and no one really wants to get their hands dirty on them. Second, they’re important. Despite their very well-known disadvantages, and…

Read More Passwords 2016

As security professionals, sometimes the advice we get is to think about the security controls we deploy as some mix of “cloud access security brokerage” and “user and entity behavioral analytics” and “next generation endpoint protection.” We’re also supposed to “hunt”, “comply,” and ensure people have had their “awareness” raised. Or perhaps they mean “training,”…

Read More A New Way to Tie Security to Business

Bruce Schneier comments on “Apple’s Differential Privacy:” So while I applaud Apple for trying to improve privacy within its business models, I would like some more transparency and some more public scrutiny. Do we know enough about what’s being done? No, and my bet is that Apple doesn’t know precisely what they’ll ship, and aren’t…

Read More The Evolution of Apple’s Differential Privacy

C-3PO: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1. Han Solo: Never tell me the odds. I was planning to start this with a C-3PO quote, and then move to a discussion of risk and risk taking. But I had forgotten just how rich a vein George Lucas tapped…

Read More Security Lessons from C-3PO

There is a spectre haunting the internet, the spectre of drama. All the powers of the social media have banded together to not fight it, because drama increases engagement statistics like nothing else: Twitter and Facebook, Gawker and TMZ, BlackLivesMatter and GamerGate, Donald Trump and Donald Trump, the list goes on and on. Where is…

Read More The Rhetorical Style of Drama

I’ve repeatedly spoken out against “think like an attacker.” Now I’m going to argue from authority. In this long article, “The Obama Doctrine,” the President of the United States says “The degree of tribal division in Libya was greater than our analysts had expected.” So let’s think about that statement and what it means. First,…

Read More "Think Like an Attacker" is an opt-in mistake

This is a brief response to Steve Christey Coley, who wrote on Twitter, “but BH CFP reads mostly pure-tech, yet infosec’s more human-driven?” I can’t respond in 140, and so a few of my thoughts, badly organized: BlackHat started life as a technical conference, and there’s certain expectations about topics, content and quality, which have…

Read More Humans in Security, BlackHat talks

Have a survival kit: ricola, Purell, gatorade, advil and antacids can be brought or bought on site. Favorite talk (not by me): I look forward to Sounil Yu’s talk on “Understanding the Security Vendor Landscape Using the Cyber Defense Matrix.” I’ve seen an earlier version of this, and like the model he’s building a great…

Read More RSA Planning