10 Feb 2016

The Great EMV Hoax: Why It Does Not Protect You

You heard it yet again when fast food chain Wendy’s admitted it had suffered a data breach that apparently involved leak of consumer credit card information: “if only EMV, aka chip cards, was widely implemented, then this problem would stop,” many people lamented.  Just one problem: it is flatly untrue. Universal' 0
02 Feb 2016

Stingray Revelations in Anaheim Are a Dangerous Precedent for Local Police Forces

The very first article I wrote for SecureThoughts was an article on Stingray devices. In case you weren’t around then, Stingray is a nasty little surveillance tool. Masquerading as a cellphone tower, your cellphone will connect to a Stingray device automatically. While it’s connected, the Stingray can track you as

26 Jan 2016

In Case You Were Wondering, Here’s How to Store Passwords Correctly

Every article on passwords must start by discussing the same subject, so here it is: You’ve chosen a weak password, and deployed it unwisely. This article, however, doesn’t choose password formation as its primary focus. There has been a flurry of activity in the news lately about users who’ve been

19 Jan 2016

The Ukrainian Power Outage: Be Very Afraid It Will Happen Here

The story hides in the back pages of the globe’s newspapers. But it must be read. On December 23, large parts of Ukraine – a bitter enemy of Vladimir Putin’s Russia – were plunged into darkness as the electrical grid was hit by a malware attack. Ukraine makes no bones

05 Jan 2016

Ransomware Gets Real: the 2016 Cyber Fright of the Year

Call this the year of ransomware – and that means cybercrooks have their eyes on your money. Here is what McAfee said in its Threat Predictions Report: “Ransomware will remain a major and rapidly growing threat in 2016. With upcoming new variants and the success of the ‘ransomware-as-a-service’ business model,

29 Dec 2015

If You Live In the US, Your Vote Is Being Hacked

Politicians, their staff, and those organizations that support their campaigning efforts should be among the last people to get their hands on American data. This, if nothing else, should be your takeaway from the most recent chapter of the 2016 presidential election. No matter who you’re voting for, (Full disclosure: