Scott Granneman has written a couple of interesting columns for SecurityFocus. In one of them, he discusses the scary ignorance Joe User has when it comes to security. The column shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody doing end-user support, but judging from the still-abysmal state of user interfaces for security tools, it’s a big surprise to the makers of anti-virus software and firewalls. And Microsoft’s Windows Update tool is still a living manifesto of how not to design end-user software.
You’d think that enlightened self-interest would convince a lot of people to learn enough about this stuff to lock down their own machines, but all the evidence says no. There’s a small percentage of nerds and geeks who spend the time on this stuff, and the rest of the user population, for whatever reasons, can’t be bothered. So their boxes get hacked, they keep clicking on dangerous attachments, fall for phishing scams, and in general have a thoroughly unpleasant experience on the Internet.
After Granneman published the column linked above, he was contacted by an FBI agent, who volunteered to give a lecture. The account of that lecture is fascinating reading. There’s a lot of nastiness out there.
Turns out that security is not so much a matter of technology. Granted, base levels of technological security, like firewalls and strong passwords, have to be in place to prevent abuses, but in the end “social engineering, coupled with greed, is the easiest way to subvert any security.”
Music: “Mary’s in India” by Dido [Opens in iTunes]
Posted Thursday, 29 January, 2004 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.