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Commentary

Content posted in August 2006
A Lesson Plan For The Department Of Education
Commentary  |  8/28/2006  | 
Another week, another preventable exposure of citizen data at a government agency. Last week's spillage in the spotlight came courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education. A glitch in a new software program created a situation where the wrong client data was being shown to people trying to update their student loan accounts. After a number of complaints, the ED shut down the affected Web pages. Then, apparen
Get Used To It: Mousy Hair, Chapped Lips, And Boredom En Route
Commentary  |  8/18/2006  | 
Looks like I got back from Black Hat just in time. Less than a week after my JetBlue flight touched down at JFK, all hell broke loose at the airports, forcing passengers to dump such cherished items as hair gel, ChapStick, and even books. Books? Living in New York, one doesn't need much of a reminder that we live in a dangerous world. This summer must have set some sort of record for
Banned On Board: The Ripple Effect Of High-Tech Travel Restrictions
Commentary  |  8/16/2006  | 
Last week's foiled airline bomb plot, and the subsequent fallout for business travelers--here and abroad--got me to thinking that necessity isn't just the mother of invention, it's also a driver of change, and sometimes, the spark needed to ignite struggling markets and launch new trends.
Blinded By The Glare Of Facial Piercings At Black Hat (Or, The One That Got Away)
Commentary  |  8/11/2006  | 
As I made my way up the long escalator from the ground floor of Caesar's Palace on the first day of Black Hat, I continued to wrestle with my agenda for the next few hours. I'd already made the tough decision to catch Ofir Arkin's promising NAC attack session rather than sit in on either of my second two choices:
Keeping Our Private Info Private In An Online World
Commentary  |  8/9/2006  | 
There were a couple of incidents this week that made me stop and think about my own personal data--and who has it. But more important than any musings about what information about me--my address or financial records or personnel records from various jobs--is stored out there is who could get their hands on it. And it seems the answer to that question is, apparently, absolutely anyone.
Do You Know Where Your Laptops Are?
Commentary  |  8/8/2006  | 
I got an urgent e-mail from IT yesterday about a company-owned laptop I never returned upon getting a new one. It's not the first time those guys have asked, but the old laptop got stuck in a box during a move and I forgot about it. It was on its last legs back then. Heck, it's probably got a 486 chip. What's the rush?
Black Hat: How's Your Security Crystal Ball Looking?
Commentary  |  8/4/2006  | 
Perhaps the best reason to attend Black Hat is the opportunity to see what's on the horizon when it comes to security. It's human nature to want to know things your colleagues don't. It gives people a reason to listen to you and helps you sound smart. In the spirit of water-cooler chat dominance, here are three security issues I observed at Black Hat that probably won't send your security staff scurrying for answers tomorrow, but will sooner rather than later have a significant impact on the sec


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