The Short Dangerous Step from Surveillance Software to Spyware

Surveillance software is legal. Spyware is illegal. Both monitor a specific smartphone owner's use of their device and both can gather copious amounts of information from it. Both can turn on cameras, recorders, read emails and SMS messages, and monitor all internet use. They will also follow the user's physical movements through GPS tracking. The … Continue reading The Short Dangerous Step from Surveillance Software to Spyware

I Was the Target of a Tax Refund Scam

So I get a letter from the IRS in the mail. "This can't be good." I muttered to myself. And, sure enough, it wasn't. The first lines of the letter read as follows. Dear Taxpayer, We received an income tax return, Form 1040, for the tax year above (2019) using your name and Social Security … Continue reading I Was the Target of a Tax Refund Scam

Punycode, Homographs, and Other URL Spoofing Techniques You should be Aware of

The average person is becoming too smart for most hackers. They know a spoofed website when they see it. Long ago they've learned to check the URL before they begin blithely filling in a form with personal information. They have learned how to hover over a link to see where it really goes. Even though … Continue reading Punycode, Homographs, and Other URL Spoofing Techniques You should be Aware of

I’m Not a Member: Why Should I Care If Another Dating Site Was Hacked?

The MeetMindful dating site was hacked and the details of its 2.8 million customers were leaked online. The whole database is now free to download. So what? You might say. I'm not a member of the site, what do I have to worry about? Well, possibly nothing, but it's naïve to think that any hack … Continue reading I’m Not a Member: Why Should I Care If Another Dating Site Was Hacked?

Genocide Apps: Coming to an App Store Near You

It all began in China, but my guess is that it's not going to end there. When the Chinese government decided it was time to eliminate the Uighur minority in northwest China, they came up with a novel idea. Why not 'suggest' that their Uighur citizens install 'special' apps on their phones? The apps the … Continue reading Genocide Apps: Coming to an App Store Near You

How Will the U.S. Retaliate against the Russian SolarWinds Hackers?

"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Shakespeare, Macbeth This quote just about sums up President Elect, Joe Biden's and much of the intelligence community's response to the recent SolarWinds attack on numerous government agencies and private corporations. I realize that they don't want to show their … Continue reading How Will the U.S. Retaliate against the Russian SolarWinds Hackers?

So What Exactly is a Supply Chain Attack?

Imagine that you get an email from one of your friends? Imagine that you were both at the same party and that he had some pictures he wanted to share with you. He's done this sort of thing before. His email address checks out so, no problem, right? You open the photos and they are … Continue reading So What Exactly is a Supply Chain Attack?

Microsoft Downplays Source Code Breach… Why?

On New Year's Eve, when everyone's attention was somewhere else, Microsoft casually announced that its source code had been breached. This was followed by a 'nothing-to-see-here' discussion of the incident. So, I suppose we should just continue living as if the SolarWinds attackers' penetration to the core of the Microsoft Corporation is a minor cyber … Continue reading Microsoft Downplays Source Code Breach… Why?

Should Trump Pardon Assange and Snowden?

This might be the only question left in which the answer does not fall along party lines. Probably equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans would agree or disagree on the pardons for these two individuals. Democrats loved Assange when he was leaking documents that exposed the wrongdoings of American firms or Republicans. They especially liked … Continue reading Should Trump Pardon Assange and Snowden?

This is Dangerous: New Russian Trickbot Variant Can Now Access Firmware

If malware can gain control of your device's firmware, then say goodbye to your device. Manufacturers put firmware on their computers and other devices so that they work properly upon startup. This is why many manufacturers won't let you access the firmware. Messing with the firmware could destroy their product. Yes, firmware upgrades do occasionally … Continue reading This is Dangerous: New Russian Trickbot Variant Can Now Access Firmware