Weekly Wrap 40

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. Despite succumbing to a random fever for two or three days, I got quite a bit of writing done — and then forgot to post this until Monday. Sigh.

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 79, “Cybercrime convention: civil liberties risk?”. Australia intends to sign on to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime. My guests? Cybercrime specialist Nigel Phair from the Surete Group, who’s previously been with the Australian High Tech Crime Centre. His second book has just been published, Cybercrime: The Challenge for the Legal Profession. And Electronic Frontiers Australia chair Colin Jacobs.

Articles

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Tea Tree Cottage, one of the Bunjaree Cottages at Wentworth Falls, where I’ve been living. I’ll write more about this experience very soon.]

Weekly Wrap 26

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets and in the media and so on and so forth.

Articles

Podcasts

  • Patch Monday episode 67, “Cybercrime: the FBI’s worldview”. Edited highlights of a presentation to the eCrime Symposium by Will Blevins, the FBI’s assistant legal attaché to Australia for cybercrime issues.
  • A Series of Tubes episode 120. Richard Chirgwin and I have a long chat about the National Broadband Network. Was the business case document worth the wait? Is there a black hole in the NBN financials? What’s the product roadmap? And what about this Points of Interconnect issue?

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

Elsewhere

Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.

[Photo: Low-grade reindeer is low-grade, taken earlier today at the Broadway Shopping Centre, Sydney.]

Weekly Wrap 4

A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets, posted a day early because I’m about to go off-grid for the weekend.

Articles

  • Inside Microsoft’s Security War Room, my debut for iTnews, along with a photo gallery. During my Microsoft-funded trip to Redmond, Washington, I visited the War Room where they work on critical security patches for all Microsoft products.
  • The political naivety of the digital elites for ABC Unleashed, in which I bemoan the way some people seem to see all politics through the narrow, narrow prism of the Australian government’s mandatory internet censorship policies. The comments are fascinating, especially those who seem to think I’m in favour of Senator Conroy and the government’s internet censorship plans.

Podcasts

[Photo: A sign spotted outside the ZanziBar, Newtown, last night, offering free Snuggies for hire. “Snuggie”? If you haven’t heard of this device before, check their website or watch the infomercial.]

Alastair MacGibbon on the Cyber Crime report

While I’ve already given my opinion of the federal parliament’s Cyber Crime report, why not listen to an actual expert opinion?

Last night I spoke with Alastair MacGibbon (pictured) for today’s Patch Monday podcast. We recorded way too much material for the podcast, so here’s the full conversation.

MacGibbon was the founding Director of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre, was with the Australian Federal Police for 15 years, he graduated from the FBI’s National Academy in the US, was Head of Trust, Safety & Customer Support for eBay Asia Pacific for four years — in short, he knows his way around this stuff.

We talk through some of the recommendations of the report Hackers, Fraudsters and Botnets: Tackling the Problem of Cyber Crime released last Monday — including MacGibbon’s own somewhat controversial view that we should actively block people’s computers from accessing the internet if their security software isn’t up to scratch.

Play

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[Photo: Alastair MacGibbon speaking at the recent Intelligence Squared debate, Governments should not censor the internet, in a frame grab taken from the ABC TV broadcast.]

Visiting Microsoft HQ to talk security: what should I ask?

I’m off to America! Some tin-pot little IT start-up called Microsoft has invited me to visit their headquarters in Redmond, Washington (pictured) to find out what they’re doing about security, and in particular their Trustworthy Computing initiatives.

Now if you’re a crusty old network administrator like me, you may think that “Microsoft” and “security” in the same sentence is an oxymoron. A decade ago I was building Linux-based firewalls and, like so many people doing the same, I referred to Windows-based computers as “the targets”. And certainly the vast majority of the world’s malware is targeted at Windows.

But I’ve always though that the simplistic “Windows is bad, m’kay” was a bit, well, simplistic. Information security isn’t just about the technology, it’s also about people. Human factors are also the weakest link. And over the years I’ve found that people who throw around those tired platform-wars slogans usually aren’t up to date when it comes to the things they love to hate.

So, I’m off to Redmond later this month to spend three days with some of Microsoft’s engineers and developers, including briefing sessions with senior executives from Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group.

Continue reading “Visiting Microsoft HQ to talk security: what should I ask?”