Tech Talk

Tracking Hackers: an inexact science

Recently, there have been claims that the people who hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) have been traced back to Russia. Tracing hackers after the fact is usually an inexact science.

Typically, people who are attacking a system, go through a number of intermediate machines. The logs and tracking information on these machines are then wiped, leaving an approximation as to which incoming connection accessed which outgoing connection.

Tech Talk: The Web's early milestones

Rocco Maglio is a software engineer with over 23 years of experience. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

First website

The Web just turned 25 years old. The first website was created at CERN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland by British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee on Aug. 6, 1991. The original site Berners-Lee created is still available at http://info.cern.ch/. Berners-Lee is not only credited with creating the first website, but also the first web browser and web server.

Feel free to sing "Happy Birthday to You"

Rocco Maglio, CISSP

Have you ever wondered why at restaurants they sing birthday songs like “Happy Happy Birthday” rather than “Happy Birthday to You?” The reason is that Warner/Chappell Music claimed to have a copyright on the “Happy Birthday to You” song and you had to have their authorization to sing the song publicly. It is estimated that “Happy Birthday to You” earned 50 million dollars in royalties, making it the highest earning song ever.

How two factor authentication can protect you

The way we identify ourselves on the internet is with a username and password. Usually the username is either our email, our name, or some other identifier we use repeatedly.

Many times your username is used to identify comments that you make on the site. To steal your account all an attacker needs to do is guess your password, since in most cases your username is readily available.

Is driver assist technology making you safer?

Recently there was a fatal crash of a driver using the Tesla Model S’s autopilot feature. This brought discussions of driver assist technologies to the forefront. There are a number of companies working on developing self driving cars including Tesla, Google, Apple, and BMW.

Tesla’s autopilot uses Autosteer to keep the car in the current lane and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control to maintain the car’s speed. On a highway, the car will virtually drive itself. Tesla’s autopilot requires that the driver’s hands stay on the wheel while driving to enforce driver engagement.

Pros and Cons of AdBlocker

There is extensions to web browsers like IE, Firefox, and Chrome that remove the ads from the web page when it is shown. These Ad blockers were developed to solve a real issue. Many sites had intrusive ads and even worse some scammers were using ads to deliver ransomware and other malware. The ad serving companies seemed unable to stop the scammers from using their ads.

The ad blocking software protected its users from being bothered by intrusive ads and possibly receiving malware. Adblock is the most popular of these extensions and claims 40 million users.

Use Secure Websites to Stay Safe

If you use https rather than http when connecting to sites you are more secure. You have added assurance that you are actually getting to the site you intended to go to. There is malware that can hijack your Domain Name Service (DNS) and send you to a different site than requested. This fails with https, because they will not be able to provide a certificate for that site. Our web site https://hernandosun.com/ recently switched to defaulting all traffic to https.

"Tech on Tap," a tech networking event

The idea behind Tech on Tap is that in Hernando County we have business and government employers that struggle to find candidates for technology positions. We also have a number of technology professionals that work remotely from their homes or in Tampa. If they lose their job they look for a job in Tampa, because they are not aware of what is available within the technology sector in Hernando County. We are doing an event at Marker 48 on Wednesday June 29 at 6pm where professionals and businesses can meet one another.

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