August 22, 2010 – Episodes 164 and 165

Episode 165 is the this week’s full episode of The CyberJungle, posted immediately below.  Episode 164 is the su root edition for advanced listeners – material that’s too technical for the radio.  The advanced material consists of an interview with Dr. Richard Boyd, a senior researcher with Georgia Tech Research Institute, on using low-cost graphic cards to brute force passwords.  Scroll down to the end of this batch of show notes to find it.

Episode 165:

This week’s regular episode of  The Cyberjungle  is 1 hour and 18 minutes long. You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.

To listen to Episode 165 via the flash player:

Interview

Joshua Davis is a researcher with the Georgia Tech Research Institute. We discuss the new standards for strong passwords, and the new ease with which passwords can be broken.  The 7-minute interview starts at about 22 minutes into episode 165.

Learn More: Teraflop Troubles: The Power of Graphics Processing Units May Threaten the World’s Password Security System

Tales from the Dark Web

If you get a message that looks like it’s from LinkedIn, be extra careful.  There’s a fake one circulating and it may link you to rogueware.

Our Take on This Week’s News

Get your tech out of my trash can – The City of Cleveland is expanding a pilot program which monitors trash cans of city residents via RFID chips embedded in the cans.  Because of a trash-sorting requirement to use separate cans for recycling, city workers are able to monitor how often each household recycles, and decide whether too much time has passed since the recycling cart was last brought to the curb.  If the household is sluggish in its recycling practices, the city will inspect the trash, and can fine the resident.

We’re reading more about automated safety alerts that are supposed to tip off workers to possible problems with industrial systems, and computer malfunctions that cause these features not to work or to be ignored.  Or maybe we’re just noticing these stories more since the gulf oil spill. Now it seems malware may have been  indirectly responsible for an airplane crash a couple of years back.  The report is due out soon after a two-year investigation of a Spain Air jet that crashed because of wing flaps that didn’t get repaired.

We took our eye of the school laptop spyware case for a few months, and missed some developments in the lawsuit against the Lower Marion school District, which has has been swimming in a vat of hot water since it botched a scheme to track missing school-issued laptops, and ended up snapping photos of kids in their bedrooms instead.  There was a second suit filed by another kid whose privacy was invaded.  The expenses related to defending the district is pushing a million bucks, and the insurance company won’t pay. Hello, taxpayers.  And the lawyer for the plaintiffs says he wants his money now.  BTW, the district will roll out policy on Monday for laptop tracking.  Gee, too bad they didn’t do that before they gave the kids laptops loaded up with spyware.

Beware the TapSnake game –  It’s GPS Spyware on Android. Tapsnake and GPS SPY are companion programs developed by a Russian developer based in Texas, Mr. Max Lifshin (“Maxicom”).   Someone posted a link to his resume,  where we discover that he used to work for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

The government-industry partnership – Government agencies aren’t providing business with timely tips about cyberthreats, according to a GAO report. (PDF)

Ira’s Classroom

Easy way to disguise your email address from spammers: http://scr.im

How to free yourself from the prying eyes of Google (Or, recognizing that you can’t be entirely free of Google, take some steps to minimize Google surveillance):

Two Resources: http://safeandsavvy.f-secure.com/2010/08/16/get-google-out-of-your-life/ and http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Un-Google_Yourself

Search engine alternative, excellent as your home page: http://www.StartPage.com

Episode 164 – su root edition:

This is our unedited edition, featuring a longer and more technical conversation with Dr. Richard Boyd of the Georgia Tech Research Institute, about a new threat to common passwords.   Learn More at Teraflop Troubles: The Power of Graphics Processing Units May Threaten the World’s Password Security System.

You can hear it by clicking on the flash player below, or you can go to the listening options page and browse for other ways to hear the show.  The audio file is 25 minutes long.

To listen to su root edition (episode 164)  via the flash player:

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