Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryComputer Security

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Big data futuristic visualization abstract illustration

How Software Makers Will Push Back Against Reforms

Software makers will grumble but insurers may force their hand. That, however, is NOT the Big Battle…

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here as a series. On Friday, we looked at the claim that human data collectors should own your data because it is too complex for you to manage. In this final installment, we look at how tech companies will try to avoid actually having to change anything. Preview of Coming Attractions If policymakers start to move towards implementing the policies suggested above, there will be a pushback from software makers that are not HDCs. They will be unhappy about additional software development costs, and they will play the “It’s the cyberattackers, not us!” card, saying it’s unfair to hold…

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Smart technologies in your smartphone, collection and analysis of big data

Is Your Data About Yourself Too Complex for You to Manage?

That’s the argument human data collectors (HDCs) make for why they should be allowed to collect and own your data

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here as a series. On Tuesday, we looked at how the current system punishes small businesses for data breaches that they could not have prevented. Today, we look at the claim that human data collectors should own your data because it is too complex for you to manage. The Easy Button The most common objection to data ownership is that self-management of owned data is overly complex. That view is based on the complexity of so-called “privacy controls” offered by big tech HDCs, controls which have every appearance of being deliberately obtuse. As a software developer and…

needle into eye
Danger for the eye

Cybersecurity: Why a Poke in the Eye Does Not Work

The current system punishes small businesses for data breaches they could not have prevented

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here as a series. Yesterday, we looked at how online human data collectors get free from legal responsibility. Today we look at how the current system punishes small businesses for data breaches that they could not have prevented. A Poke in the Eye Furthermore, in the domain of unintended consequences, deterrence polices are based on the technological symptomatic point solution fallacy. Businesses are assumed to be negligent if they have a data breach. That’s correct in some cases, but in others, businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, suffer increased compliance costs or have been bankrupted by data breaches that they…

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Close up businesswoman collecting data information converting into statistics, planning strategy gathering resources creating visual graphical graphs using computer laptop and smart mobile device

How Online Human Data Collectors Get Free From Responsibility

Cybersecurity expert David A. Kruger talks about the Brave Old World in which you have much less power than Big Tech does

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here as a series. Last week, we looked at how search engine results can be distorted. This week, we look at how HDCs (human data collectors) free themselves from any responsibility for outcomes. Brave Old World HDCs’ licensing strategy is designed to free them from any vestige of fiduciary duty. Fiduciary law traces its roots back to the Code of Hammurabi in 1790 BC, through the Roman Empire, early British law, and up to the present day. The purpose of fiduciary law is to compensate for two sad facts of human nature. In unequally powered business relationships, 1) businesses with more…

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close up man hand type on keyboard laptop to use search engine optimization (SEO) tools for finding customer or promote and advertise about content online for marketing technology and business concept

How Search Engine Results Can Be Distorted

Search providers such as Google are able to increase their ad revenues by distorting the search results delivered to users

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here as a series. Last week, we looked at the way data is collected on us for and marketed. This week we look at how search engine results can not be what they seem: Off Target The promise and purpose of search technology is that with it a user can find what they are looking for, not what the search engine provider deems worthy of being found. That creates an inherent conflict of interest when search providers such as Google are able to increase their ad revenues by distorting the search results delivered to users. Distortion, in…

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Security worker during monitoring. Video surveillance system.

The Cybercriminal Isn’t Necessarily Who You Think…

Chances are, the “human data collector” is just someone who works for a company that makes money collecting data about you

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here as a series. Yesterday’s discussion focused on ruining cybercriminals’ lives by making their businesses unprofitable. And now, let’s look at who the cybercriminal typically is… it’s more complicated than his iconic hoodie. And it’s way worse too. Close Encounters of the Third Kind We have been taught to think of cyberattackers as being one of two kinds, criminal cyberattackers who gain control of others’ data to make money, or military/terroristic cyberattackers who gain control of others’ data to project military or political power. There is a third kind: Software makers who systematically destroy privacy, so they can gain control…

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Business, technology, internet and networking concept. Young businesswoman working on his laptop in the office, select the icon security on the virtual display.

Computer Safety Expert: Start Helping Ruin Cybercriminals’ Lives

Okay, their businesses. Unfortunately, part of the problem is the design of programs, written with the best of intentions…

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here as a series. Yesterday’s discussion focused on agile software development. Today’s discussion looks at making life somewhat less comfortable for the guy who wants to steal your credit card number. Ruining the Economics of Cyberattack Would fully implementing controllable data and full scope authentication prevent every cybersecurity failure? Of course not. There are scenarios, particularly those aided by human gullibility, ineptitude, and negligence, where cybersecurity can and will continue to fail. However, cyberattacks are carried out by human beings for the purpose of acquiring money and/or exercising power, and there is a cost/benefit analysis behind every attack. Controllable…

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matching keys made of circuits & led lights, encryption & crypto

New Clue in the Problem That Haunts All Cryptography?

A string that has no description shorter than itself is a good bet for cryptography. If the hacker doesn’t know it, he can’t use shortcuts to guess it.

A central problem in all computer security (branch of cryptography) is the one-way problem. Cryptography should function as a one-way street: You can go north but you can’t go south. So if a hacker doesn’t have the code to go north, he can’t go anywhere. Which is where the computer security expert would like to leave the hacker… Is there such a thing as a one-way function in mathematics? Mathematician Erica Klarreich says, probably yes, and explains what it looks like: To get a feel for how one-way functions work, imagine someone asked you to multiply two large prime numbers, say 6,547 and 7,079. Arriving at the answer of 46,346,213 might take some work, but it is eminently doable. However,…

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Computer code on a screen with a skull representing a computer virus / malware attack.

The Sweet Science of Agile Software Development

Effective security, as opposed to partial security, increases costs in the short run but decreases them in the long run

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here as a series. Yesterday’s discussion focused on putting a lid on risks. Today’s discussion looks at the sweet science of agile software development — proactive, not reactive responses. Agile Software Development, Known Art, and Updates to the Rescue The “get out of it one piece of software and data at a time” requirement seems daunting, if not impossible, but it isn’t as bad as it sounds due to agile software development, the availability of “known art,” and the speed at which large-scale software changes propagate via the Internet. A key attribute of agile software development is frequently…

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Gas cylinders used welding Industrial in factory

Cybersecurity: Put a Lid on the Risks. We Already Own the Lid

Security specialist David Kruger says, data must be contained when it is in storage and transit and controlled when it is in use

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here as a series. Last week’s discussion focused on the ingredients that cybersecurity needs to work. Today, the focus is on putting a lid on risks. Put a Lid on It Fortunately, we have at our disposal untold millions of man hours of safety engineering focused on safely extracting benefits from the use of hazardous things. For example, our homes and the highways we travel on are chock full of beneficial things that can easily kill us, such as high voltage electricity, flammable/explosive natural gas, and tanker trucks filled with flammable or toxic chemicals driving right next…

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Cyber security and extortion

Ingredients That Cybersecurity Needs To Actually Work

Software makers continue to produce open data as if we were still living in the 50s, and the Internet had never been invented.

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here as a series. Yesterday’s discussion made the point that the hacker’s target isn’t networks, computers, or users; they are just pathways to the target —gaining control of data is the target. Today, we look at the ingredients that cybersecurity needs to work. Necessary Ingredients Data in this context is digitized information. Digital information is physical, as in, it’s governed by the laws of physics. Data is the result of software converting (digitizing) human usable information into patterns of ones and zeros that are applied to “quantum small” physical substrates: microscopic transistors, electrical pulses, light, radio waves,…

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Online Security Technology

What’s Wrong With Cybersecurity Technology?

Know your enemy: The target isn’t networks, computers, or users; they are pathways to the target —gaining control of data

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here. He starts with “Root Cause Analysis 101” Now we’ll apply the lessons learned in yesterday’s discussion to cybersecurity: Lesson Learned 1: A pattern of multiple types of recurring related failures indicates the presence of an unidentified root cause. In cybersecurity, is there a pattern of multiple types of recurring failures that appear to be related? Yes! A cybersecurity failure occurs whenever a cyberattacker gains control of data and then:  1) views or plays it, 2) steals copies of it, 3) ransoms it, 5) impedes its flow, 5) corrupts it, or 6) destroys it. The lesson learned is that the…

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A computer popup box screen warning of a system being hacked, compromised software environment. 3D illustration.

The True Cause of Cybersecurity Failure and How to Fix It

Hint: The cause and fix are not what you think

Veteran software developer David A. Kruger offered some thoughts on computer security recently at Expensivity and we appreciate the opportunity to republish them here. He starts with “Root Cause Analysis 101” The classic line “I have a bad feeling about this” is repeated in every Star Wars movie. It’s become a meme for that uneasy feeling that as bad as things are now, they are about to get much worse. That’s an accurate portrayal of how many of us feel about cybersecurity. Our bad feeling has a sound empirical basis. Yearly cybersecurity losses and loss rates continually increase and never decrease despite annual US cybersecurity expenditures in the tens of billions of dollars and tens of millions of skilled cybersecurity…