Category Archives: Security

Ethics of Driverless Cars

Driverless CarsGoogle has been developing the driverless car for over half a decade, and with each passing year these automated chauffeurs move farther away from science fiction and closer to reality. Five states have passed laws enabling such vehicles, and as of April of this year, over 700,000 miles have been driven without an accident.

While commercialization is still a long way off, last week a debate raged over the ethical situations that may arise when a driverless vehicle is put into a situation where a crash is imminent. As a hypothetical example, what if a crash was unavoidable, and a driverless car had to choose where to guide the car – either to collide with a schoolbus or a volvo?  Physics dictates that hitting an object of larger mass will statistically be the safest, but there are kids on board! What is the correct decision?  Is the law, and by extension, the public, prepared for cars that “choose” the best scenario?

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Posted in Hardware, Science, Security, Shifting Perspectives, Technology. Tagged with , , .

Coin: Risk vs Reward

OnlyCoinAfter completing a $50,000 kickstarter campaign in under 40 minutes, this small company’s mission is to shrink the size of your wallet by decreasing the amount of plastic a person has to carry to a single card.

A small step to the transition of plastic to digital money management, there is a lot to like about the slick promo video for the card that can store debit card, credit card, and loyalty/gift cards on a single swipe-able card.  I love the idea, but will the execution be solid enough to stave off the security concerns around a comprehensive identity theft target? Continue reading

Posted in Finance, Hardware, Security, Software, Technology. Tagged with , , , , .

New Skills and Services for Managing the Cloud

cloud

Over this week, I have been reading a lot about new companies creating new industries, markets, and services for the unmet needs IT organizations as they shift to the more and more mainstream paradigm of cloud computing. Gone are the days of a 2D IT department! It’s no longer just about Operations and Engineering.  The challenges of managing infrastructure outside the corporate wall, processing big data, and growing threat of cyber attacks have created some cool opportunities – and in this post I want to highlight a few that caught my attention. Continue reading

Posted in IT, Security, Shifting Perspectives, Software, Technology. Tagged with , , .

Information Security for the “Internet of Things”

As a technology professional and a futurist, I enjoy thinking about what is the next step in the evolution of the use of technology. One of the prominent theories for that next leap is dubbed the “Internet of Things”. The internet of things is a world where everything, from your house, to your microwave, to your car, is “smart”, connected to the internet, and controllable by a computer.  Many of the prerequisites are already in play: IPv6, open hardware like Arduino, and RFID technology have laid the building blocks for more devices than ever before to be identifiable nodes on the internet. Smartphones have given you the remote control 2.0, an internet device carried by virtually every human being in the developing world with a wide array of uses. Wireless internet is expanding – 4G, wifi hotspots, and projects like Google Loon will give you access to the hyper expanding network from virtually anywhere on the planet.

A lot of the new “smart” devices joining Wi-Fi networks add new conveniences to our lives, but could potentially be opening us up to new vulnerabilities as well. I heard of a new one reading a blog by Arik Hesseldahl. Continue reading

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badBIOS, a Bad-To-The-Bone, Halloween Malware

"Our forensic procedures are weak when faced with challenges like this"

“Our forensic procedures are weak when faced with challenges like this”

As a cyber security enthusiast, I like to think I know a thing or two about how to stay safe against viral threats.  But no article could have been more frighteningly fitting for arstechnica to post on Halloween, even for me. The article tells the story of Dragos Ruiu, a security icon responsible for the pwn2own hackathon franchise, who three years ago stumbled upon malware that took over a clean install of OS X on his Macbook Air.  He was unable to boot from CD, and found the machine was deleting data and undoing configuration changes without prompting. This is when it starts to get freaky.  The virus started propagating, even to machines completely disconnected from any traditional access point.  No networking, no power cables (running on batteries) fresh installs, with no contact with infected devices. Continue reading

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Vivek Kundra – U.S. Government CIO

"Put the citizen at the heart of Government Services- they are the customer, not the bureaucracy."

“Put the citizen at the heart of Government Services- they are the customer, not the bureaucracy.”

Vivek Kundra is an Indian American administrator who served as the first chief information officer of the United States from March, 2009 to August, 2011 under President Barack Obama. As CIO of the U.S. Government,  Vivek was one of the first to champion the use of cloud technology in the public sector. He believes in high level accountability for every IT project and was passionate about the ability to use government collected data to drive real consumer improvement.  I had the opportunity to hear Vivek speak as an Innovator at the World Innovation Forum.

Vivek’s first actions as CIO were centered around restructuring the project portfolio.  Many of the Government IT projects were millions of dollars over budget, and still years off schedule. He added three key strategies to focus spending and increase accountability: Continue reading

Posted in Government, IT, Project Management, Security. Tagged with , , , , , .

Cyber Attacks on 9 US Banks Continue

No U.S. Bank Is Safe

If the picture doesn’t send the message, let me spell it out for you. All of the banks in that picture have reported Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks from the hacktivist group Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters.  The group claims that its second phase of distributed-denial-of-service attacks has affected nine banks since Dec. 11, and it warns that more attacks are on the way. The group will continue to target U.S. institutions until a YouTube movie trailer believed by the group to be anti-Islamic is removed from the Internet.

Normally, this sounds to me like another half baked conspiracy theory, but the number of stories are starting to add up, and this story is gaining more and more steam. Continue reading

Posted in Blog, IT, Security, Work. Tagged with , , , .