Tag: Security

Read: Kevin Mitnick – Ghost in the Wires

Ghost in the Wires
Kevin D. Mitnick; Little, Brown and Company 2011


I was aware of Kevin Mitnick’s status as the most wanted hacker since my first year in college. The book is an excellent narrative on how he became the world’s most wanted hacker.

I have no issues whatsoever with his incessant need to hack as a way to understand computers and systems. I also understand his belief that each new challenge was not for profit, but simply to see if he could do something.

The book is a great reminder to me, and for anyone that reads it that the weakest link in computer security is the human sitting in the chair. There is nothing as exploitable as each other. And this is really where the separation for White hat vs. Black Hat comes in, social engineering is a devious and nefarious activity. Unless specifically hired for a company to do pen-testing, any use of social engineering is in my mind highly unethical.

I lack the drive necessary to take advantage of the trust people place in me. I still believe that technology is meant to help humanity, and can’t bring myself to exploit for personal gain. And perhaps that is why I will never be the world’s most wanted hacker.

Security HD icon

com.Lenovo.SafeCenter.hd – VirusTotal report

Last week I wrote about Lenovo installing malware called Security HD on Yoga 2Security HD icon tablets (and presumably other Androids.) I used an extractor and uploaded the .APK for Security HD to VirusTotal. Brief summary:  It’s likely a problem… but still not particularly identifiable. That’s my negative vote.

VirusTotal scan of Security HD

I have returned this second tablet. I have mixed feelings about not spending mroe time researching what VirusTotal scan of Security HD is really doing in the background. This entire exercise has cost me enough time already, I wanted my money back more.


Here is the link to the complete report from VirusTotal:


Whenever I need a reminder that IT Security really is that important

I get a dose of reality whenever I look at http://map.ipviking.com/ Although my computer isn’t nearly powerful enough to render the animation as smooth as a video game, about 2 minutes is all that’s necessary to understand the sheer scale and magnitude for the need of information security in a global world.

Here’s a static pic:

Screenshot of IPViking.com

You can view a live map here: http://map.ipviking.com/

A quote came up last night at a dinner party.  It was Albert Einstein addressing future wars:

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

When I look at the above map, I have to question if perhaps we have found the weapons.