Jacob J. Walker's Blog

Scholarly Thoughts, Research, and Journalism for Informal Peer Review

Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

Several of My “Crazy Ideas” coming to Fruition, but not from Me

with 2 comments

History is filled with the the multiple discovery effect.  And inventors have had a long history of battling over who invented something first, what ideas are stolen, and what can be considered novel enough to be protected by patents, and other intellectual property laws.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

December 6th, 2014 at 11:59 am

How to Lock Down Windows XP now that Support has Ended

without comments

If you are using Windows XP, you have surely received the notice that support ended on April 8, 2014.  So what can be done?

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

September 6th, 2014 at 10:29 am

My Amazon Account Might have been Hacked

without comments

Today when I logged into Amazon, I found a strange mailing address in Britain attached to my account.  I called Amazon, and they said it was placed on there in June, but had no other details. There were no orders placed under my account, so I don’t think anyone has yet taken my money and ran.    So I’ve changed my password there, and I will be taking the time to change all my passwords these coming weeks, and double check my security.  But if you see something that seems like it came from me, like an email, etc, but it looks suspicious, please let me know right away.

I still think the PAUS system is something we need as a society, as having a system of storing passwords that cannot be hacked by a key logger would be very valuable.

Written by Jacob Walker

July 19th, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Security

If you don’t think you are being hacked; if you don’t think we are being attacked; think again.

without comments

While I am not a conspiracy theorist, nor do I tend to be an alarmist; if you hadn’t noticed, we are in a backdoor war with Putin’s Russia.  This doesn’t mean that this is a new Cold War, and I desperately hope that it doesn’t involve the threat of nuclear weapons by the U.S. and Russia.  And, as Secretary of State John Kerry has said, the U.S. will not hesitate to use “21st century tools to hold Putin’s Russia accountable for 19th century behavior”.   What we must realize is that at this very moment, Putin is surely using 21st century tools against us.  And we are in a confluence of security issues, that makes our nation vulnerable, because each of us are vulnerable, and most of us aren’t doing what is needed to solve the problems.

So what are the confluence of issues?  First there was the Heartbleed Bug, next support ended for Windows XP, and just this week a MAJOR problem was found in Internet Explorer (the default web browser in Windows), in which the Department of Homeland Security is telling people to stop using it.  I am sure the Russian government is not sitting idle while these things are occurring.

I will be posting over the next few days how to stay safe, as these are all problems that can be solved, if we work to solve them before we let our computers get hacked by Russia.   Also, the bigger picture solution is not to start to hate the Russians, as was the case during the Cold War.  We must support the people of Russia, to help them see that they have a corrupt dictator, and while it may seem to them that he is strengthening their nation, he is not.  Russians as a whole are a proud, intelligent, and educated people (so are Ukrainians).

Note: The graphic I used came from an article in Time Magazine, that was a few years in the past, but is relevant because it shows Russia using hacking to quiet dissent amongst its citizens.

Written by Jacob Walker

April 30th, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Security

Why My Post about C was Wrong

with one comment

Heartbleed LogoRecently, I wrote a provocative blog posting about how I think that the C programming language itself is part the systemic problem of how Heartbleed happened.  I asked to have some of my friends who were C programmers comment, and since that point, I had a good conversation with my friend David Deppner, and from that conversation, I now can see why there hasn’t been a solution within the C compiler to solve this.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

April 13th, 2014 at 11:59 am

A True Solution to the Password Conundrum

without comments

I was listening yesterday to NPR’s Morning Edition, and they had a story about  Tech Alternatives To Passwords Could Help Thwart Hackers, which was geared towards trying to show solutions to the password problem of Heartbleed.  Unfortunately, similar to how I shared yesterday that the news got it wrong about the culprit of Heartbleed, they are presenting an answer that on the surface seems right, but has problems.  So today, I’m going to talk about the real solution.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

April 12th, 2014 at 11:59 am

Thought of the Day: The Real Culprit behind the Internet’s Heartbleed

with 2 comments

Picture of a Dead GnuFar too often, as a humanity, we can see the inevitable probability of a future problem, yet we don’t fix the systemic problem.  With the Heartbleed bug recently being discovered by a white hat, but with evidence that it has already been used by black hats, where all of us may have had our credit cards and passwords stolen, there should be an outcry to find the culprit.  And yet, the “perpetrator” has been known for at least 20 years (and probably has been known by some people for over 40 years).  But the news doesn’t seem to be reporting on the real problem. (Although one not easily solved, as I explain in an update.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jacob Walker

April 11th, 2014 at 11:40 am