Recent Commercial and Nation State Cyber Breaches

In late June, the Little Red Hen Restaurant suffered a commercial attack that diverted visitors away from its website. The Red Hen website was subjected neither to graffiti nor to political criticism. Instead, the breach altered the website so that it sent visitors to a reproductive health products site. It appears the Red Hen’s recent […]

Equifax Walks Slowly Toward Its Seppuku

The hackers who attacked Equifax exposed vital personal identification data—including social security numbers, names, addresses and dates of birth—of potentially as many as 143 million Americans. Quickly after Equifax revealed the massive damage, advice to consumers started flowing, but this time, the advice was somewhat questionable. Authorities urged consumers to sign up for the free […]

The Need for Better IoT Security

The next wave of technological improvement for consumers, and for retail and industrial applications is expected to be the Internet of Things (IoT). Some early IoT applications have shown promise. Some have created noteworthy problems such as security failures. IoT devices and software are seldom equipped with adequate safeguards that prevent hackers from taking control […]

When Can We Agree on What Online Security Means?

We repeatedly confront the gulf between law enforcement’s and civilians’ understanding of what online security is and whom it is meant to protect.  Well-meaning law enforcement officials and earnest public advocates talk past each other because they harbor different understandings of online security. Law enforcement works hard to protect the public.  In its quest to […]

Disparity in Penalties for Financial Crimes Versus for Massive Hacking

About 5,300 Wells Fargo employees took advantage of their employer’s incentive bonuses by creating 1.5 million deposit accounts and 565,000 credit cards without the customers’ awareness.  Wells Fargo admitted the misbehavior and seems determined to do the right thing by its customer.  It fired 5,000 and to identify the problem in detail, it set in […]

A Disturbing Phase in the Internet of Things

We are now seeing hundreds of mobile apps that conduct Internet transactions and monitor our environment.  We can download them and set them in motion with little effort.  Most of these apps interact between our mobile device and a web server, but there is a class of apps that operate mostly between devices with little […]

Wild West Days for Nation State Hackers

Nation state hackers have been very busy but rarely candid about their work.  State-controlled teams from many nations run intelligence gathering projects and sometimes plant SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) attacks against the physical infrastructure in rival nations.  The teams may be on the military payroll or be talented IT workers under contract to […]

ACI in the Daily Caller: When It’s your turn to Be Hacked!

Willie Sutton said he goes after banks because that is where the money is. Hackers go after retail databases because that’s where the data is. Willie’s banks knew they’d been robbed when they heard bullets hitting the wall. Today’s retail outlets may get a firewall breach alarm but confirmation comes when banks start telling the […]

Rising Complexity and Cost of Securing Secrecy

A broad class of people has legitimate needs for communicating in secrecy, such as politicians, high tech innovators, analysts in the military, State Department operatives, and businessmen bidding on goods or negotiating a merger. Unfortunately, secrecy that once could be achieved with modest effort is now elusive. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) database contains […]