The aftermath of the Equifax breach continues.  First, the Ugly: Music Major?  Really? The hoi palloi apparently find it offensive that Equifax’s Chief Security Officer, fired in the breach’s wake, had a music degree. The implication is that someone formally trained long ago in music is clearly incompetent to have a career in IT or Infosec, much...
Equifax breach – hot mess, or simply the world we live in? The grousing began within 24 hours of Equifax’s announcement, last Thursday, of its massive data breach that compromised personal data of over 140 million U.S. consumers.  I’m generally unsympathetic about such complaints (“We’re shocked – SHOCKED – that in a breach affecting 140+ million people, we’re having trouble immediately reaching a live person at the phone bank!  And the...
The TAO of Cyber Warfare: Dark Territory In the early 1990s, NSA Director Mike McConnell created a brand-new position at the National Security Agency: Director of Information Warfare.  McConnell appointed Rich Wilhelm, with whom McConnell had worked closely on U.S. counter-command & -control intelligence operations during the first Iraq war.  After just a few weeks settling into his new job, Wilhelm walked into Director McConnell’s office...
Late last month in Mirmina v. Genpact, the Honorable Sarah Merriam of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut properly confirmed that it remains permissible to manually preserve and collect discoverable email.  Her opinion was concise and spot-on, swatting away the plaintiff-movant’s speculative “concern” that defendant must have “withheld communications” that were responsive to...
Game of Hacks A swarm of zombies, led by Byte Walkers, surges inexorably onward to penetrate a massive perimeter wall by force and stealth.  Sounds like Game of Thrones, right?  Instead, this is our cyberthreat reality. And in an ironic twist that would make George R. R. Martin blush under his beard, it’s now painfully real for HBO, which recently acknowledged suffering a...
If you’re old enough, you’ll remember a time when businesses actually kept their own information (cue my adult children to roll their eyes).  How quaint.  We no longer keep most of our information – providers do that for us.  We store our data in the cloud, through cloud providers.  We outsource business applications to SaaS providers, and...
Big data gone bad: Weapons of Math Destruction The hand-wringing continues about robots, and for whose jobs they’re coming next. But the “robots” needn’t be tangible to transform our lives. Actually, the’re already here, in the form of big data algorithms – predictive mathematical models fueled by astounding computing power and endless supplies of data. This doesn’t have to be ominous.  Well-designed models, properly applied,...
WiFi provider Purple recently added a “Community Service Clause” to its usual terms and conditions for wireless service: The user may be required, at Purple’s discretion, to carry out 1,000 hours of community service. This may include the following: Cleansing local parks of animal waste Providing hugs to stray cats and dogs Manually relieving sewer blockages Cleaning portable...