Steve Riley on Security

Formerly of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group.

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  • Blog Post: Bugged Canadian coin story is...wait for it...BOGUS!

    Surely you've heard, too many times by now, about the radio transmitters "discovered" in some Canadian coins. From the moment I first read about it, the steamy stench of pasture patties loomed large in the air. I watched in amazement as the story grew and the apparent credibility so many "journalists...
  • Blog Post: Bogus Microsoft sweepstakes emails

    Over the past month I've received at least three enquiries from people asking about the legitimacy of emails claiming the recipients have won large amounts of money in a Microsoft sweepstakes or lottery -- often 500,000 British pounds. This is an easy question to answer: they're fake. Recently, someone...
  • Blog Post: iPods spread disease?

    Well well. Looks like a few new iPod owners are getting infected when they attach their players to their computers. I'll quote the first paragraph from Apple's web site: We recently discovered that a small number - less than 1% - of the Video iPods available for purchase after September 12, 2006...
  • Blog Post: The Internet routes around outages -- and censorship, too

    Have you seen this yet? " Grokster ruling begins the good fight " If you haven't, it's worth your time to read -- it's a terrible shibboleth for a U.S. "national firewall." Coursey is promoting the idea that all U.S. Internet access should pass through a firewall that will block file-sharing and gambling...
  • Blog Post: Myth vs. reality: Wireless SSIDs

    Do you ever wonder sometimes how it is that some ideas just won't die? Like the thought that not broadcasting your wireless network's SSID will somehow make you more secure? This is a myth that needs to be forcibly dragged out behind the woodshed, strangled until it wheezes its last labored breath, then...
  • Blog Post: Lousy security

    Lousy security is all around us, and I'm not even thinking about airport security here (which, I admit, i love griping about). Here I have in mind lousy computer security. And lest you think I'm proceeding to engage in naval-gazing introspection, no -- I'm not going to write about our own products. ...
  • Blog Post: Must be a slow news day: reporter writes 100% crap

    Imagine my surprise to read that Microsoft is removing NAP from Windows Vista ! Does this guy actually get paid money to write this drivel? The particular folks quoted in the article all have their own agendas, of course. News flash: we aren't dropping NAP. It's in the product now, we're actually...
  • Blog Post: Security in Windows Vista 64-bit

    By now, many of you have heard us speak about or have read our writings on the improved security capabilities of Windows Vista. As I've said at a number of events now, the research I've done into these capabilities has convinced me that enterprises should seriously consider Vista upgrades. This OS is...
  • Blog Post: New site at the top of my favorites list

    You know, stupid security abounds. I just discovered this site today, and I plan to become a regular visitor -- and probably a contributor, too! I encourage you to explore it and enjoy. Oh, some advice: it probably would be unwise to read an offline archived version of this site on an airplane. :) ...
  • Blog Post: Blamestorming

    So, let's recap the sequence of events: The Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale accidentally republishes a six-year-old news story about the bankruptcy of UAL. It wasn't on the home page, but instead buried somewhere inside the web site. Google's news crawler (an automated thing, remember) finds...
  • Blog Post: New column - debunking security myths

    There is a lot at stake in security configuration guidance. First, it is easy to understand why people are clamoring for it. Everyone can see the benefit in turning on some setting and blocking an attack. In some environments, doing so is not even an option. A system must be configured in accordance...
  • Blog Post: File under: "You've got to be kidding!"

    Today I upgraded the brain on my i-mate K-JAM. Which, of course, requires a hard reset, meaning that I get to spend a relaxing day re-installing and configuring all my applications. Usually when I do this (too frequently, it seems) I browse around for new and improved software. While perusing www...
  • Blog Post: What motivates a journalist?

    OK, I have to unload a burden here. I often interact with the tech press in various places throughout the world. I've had wonderful, productive meetings with many fine journalists. New Zealand and Malaysia particularly stand out in my memory. However, a thing has happened today that, while not affecting...