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 […]

Cyber-Attack Detection is Difficult, Needs Monitoring

Despite cyber-prowess and a staggering and secret budget, US intelligence agencies appeared unable to halt a deep and sustained invasion of sensitive federal information.  In May, an attack hit the IT system of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and its data stored at the Department of the Interior’s data center. Information for about 4 […]

ACI in the Dallas Morning News

Texas’ success and growth are largely due to its diverse and largely healthy economy, including a retail sector that, according to the Texas Retailers Association, has about 107,000 retail establishments and employs over 1.9 million Texans. Yet unlike some of its peers, this industry and the consumers it serves remain unnecessarily threatened. According to a […]

Sony, North Korea, the US, and the Mistake of Hackers

Consumers were alerted to the cyber-attack on Sony evidently conducted by North Korea (NK) in return for a stoner movie called The Interview.  As it stands, the US seems to be doing little and Sony has round-filed the offending movie.  Sony executives had let their sharp tongues overrun their good judgment in emails that criticized […]

Universal Internet IDs — Too Easy?

Internet users are burdened by the need to select and remember user identities and passwords that are unique to each website worth visiting.  Websites that receive your sensitive personal information are worth protecting with unique accounts or user IDs and strong passwords that will thwart thieves and hackers.  Memorizing a long list of those user […]

ACI in Real Clear Policy: Waiting Until the Cyber Damage Is Done

The cyber intrusions we face are serious. Civilian cyber-criminals inflict problems ranging from nuisances to theft, as happened at Target and Adobe. Now the curious Heartbleed vulnerability inconveniences consumers, requiring extensive password replacements. Less known but more serious are cyber-attacks by nation states, which threaten our economic vigor and the functioning of our infrastructure. China’s […]

Online Security and Your Dog

Getting a dog for home security can make sense, but how about online security? This weekend we started downloading a map app – high tech consumers in action, but progress ground to a halt because we were uncomfortable with the app’s demand for an email identity to associate with the app.  There is no good […]

Reduce the Net Payoff from Hacking

Chinese hackers made the headlines in May when Washington confessed that Chinese army officers are behind cyber-attacks to collect U.S. intellectual property and military strategies.  It is unclear if the army hackers are on a commercial mission, doing espionage, or perhaps both. In April, Spanish police charged a man with a massive distributed denial of […]

Hacking and Terrorism

Internet security is much in the news.  At a retail level, consumers are concerned primarily with identity theft and invasion of privacy.  At the nation-state level consumers are concerned with damage inflicted by a sovereign adversary.  Both are troublesome, but they call for different protections and responses. While still better than nothing, retail antivirus software […]