So there’s a pair of stories on choosing good passwords on the New York Times. The first is (as I write this) the most emailed story on the site, “How to Devise Passwords That Drive Hackers Away.” It quotes both Paul Kocher and Jeremiah Grossman, both of whom I respect. There’s also a follow-on story,…Read More The Questions Not Asked on Passwords
There is, yet again, someone in the news talking about a cyber Pearl Harbor. I wanted to offer a few points of perspective. First, on December 6th, 1941, the United States was at peace. There were worries about the future, but no belief that a major attack was imminent, and certainly not a sneak attack.…Read More The Boy Who Cried Cyber Pearl Harbor
I’m a big fan of learning from our experiences around breaches. Claims like “your stock will fall”, or “your customers will flee” are shown to be false by statistical analysis, and I expect we’d see the same if we looked at people losing their jobs over breaches. (We could do this, for example, via LinkedIn…Read More Your career is over after a breach? Another Myth, Busted!
Yesterday, Dave Aitel wrote a fascinating article “Why you shouldn’t train employees for security awareness,” arguing that money spent on training employees about awareness is wasted. While I don’t agree with everything he wrote, I submit that your opinion on this (and mine) are irrelevant. The key question is “Is money spent on security awareness…Read More Aitel on Social Engineering
On Twitter, Phil Venables said “More new school thinking from the Feynman archives. Listen to this while thinking of InfoSec.” During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas–which was to try one…Read More Feynman on Cargo Cult Science
On Friday, I watched Eric Ries talk about his new Lean Startup book, and wanted to talk about how it might relate to security. Ries concieves as startups as businesses operating under conditions of high uncertainty, which includes things you might not think of as startups. In fact, he thinks that startups are everywhere, even…Read More Lean Startups & the New School
Over at Risky.biz, Patrick Grey has an entertaining and thought-provoking article, “Why we secretly love LulzSec:” LulzSec is running around pummelling some of the world’s most powerful organisations into the ground… for laughs! For lulz! For shits and giggles! Surely that tells you what you need to know about computer security: there isn’t any. And…Read More Are Lulz our best practice?
There’s a very interesting discussion on C-SPAN about the consumer’s right to know about breaches and how the individual is best positioned to decide how to react. “Representative Bono Mack Gives Details on Proposed Data Theft Bill.” I’m glad to see how the debate is maturing, and how no one bothered with some of the…Read More Representative Bono-Mack on the Sony Hack
Both Dissent and George Hulme took issue with my post Thursday, and pointed to the Ponemon U.S. Cost of a Data Breach Study, which says: Average abnormal churn rates across all incidents in the study were slightly higher than last year (from 3.6 percent in 2008 to 3.7 percent in 2009), which was measured by…Read More A critique of Ponemon Institute methodology for "churn"
So before I respond to some of the questions that my “A day of reckoning” post raises, let me say a few things. First, proving that a breach has no impact on brand is impossible, in the same way that proving the non-existence of god or black swans is impossible. It will always be possible…Read More Requests for a proof of non-existence