Monthly Archives: March 2014

Columbus and the Egg

Hindsight is 20/20, and there is a related cognitive bias it’s easy to fall victim to. I found this amusing anecdote recently, and it occurred to me that — as much as many of us have decried aspects of the Snowden leaks as “stuff we already knew” — it’s hard to be exactly sure. In […]

NSA/GCHQ Really Like Spying on Germany, Heads of State

In today’s Snowden news, we learn that GCHQ hacked German satellite communications companies, pulling customer lists and seeking to identify “future technical trends in their business sector.” The outlier was a Bavarian company, IABG, which got double attention: GCHQ believed the NSA had already pwned it (presumably during the time when the NSA had an […]

Only in China: Sending Spam with an IMSI Catcher (plus Wikileaks/etc)

Let me first clarify something about my last note, why I don’t consider the Wikileaks releases eligible for the ‘Prometheus prize.’ Maybe an example is the best way to do make the point. Of all the recent leaks, only one really gets anywhere near the standard of “[stealing] the secret of Gods’ domination upon men, […]

John McAfee’s Insane, Paranoiac Lifestyle Never Stopped! (and Assange)

First off, one for the Assange psychoanalysis files. A radical Swedish psychiatrist paid Assange a visit, and posted his assessment of the guy’s mental health — “among the most normal among the normal political leaders or cultural personalities, or journalists, I have ever met.” Unfortunately the guy’s post is heavy on politics and light on […]

New ‘PRISM-proof’ Browser Based Crypto Idea (and weird science: ESP and Tesla)

From the ? department — NASA astronaut and MIT aero-astro PhD claims he proved telepathy while in space. Also, earlier I mentioned an audio recording from an alleged assistant of Nikola Tesla. There are mounting reasons to believe that, while some of what he said was correct, other parts were almost certainly not. Delusion? […]

80% of Hackers Work for Organized Crime

It used to be 80% of “working hackers” were freelancers, according to Juniper Networks. Now a study by RAND inidcates the numbers have flipped — 80% of hackers work with organized crime groups, and only 20% are independent. RAND also observed something else. (By the way, RAND is a research firm famous for all kinds […]

Krebs on Credit Monitoring Services

One of the biggest problems in the American corporate-financial system is identity theft and various forms of credit fraud. The traditional solution is “credit monitoring,” in other words companies which monitor US consumers’ credit reports and alert on potentially fraudulent activity. But how well does this approach actually work? Brian “Soon to be a major […]