Archive for July, 2014

One of the best – Cyber Security Summit: Thursday, September 18th in NYC (at the Hilton Hotel)


Cyber security summit NYC


30 July 2014 – We have been flooded with notices on upcoming conferences so we are starting to review the piles (both paper and digital). We have no affiliation with any of these conferences and attend them as a paying attendee to keep ourselves unencumbered:

One of the better cyber security events will in NYC on Thursday, September 18th. Yes, a one-day event. And rather than the usual conference bazaars/flea markets we all usually attend, this one is a C-Suite conference that aims to connect senior-level executives with access to a plethora of information security experts, plus information security vendors.

Yes, you have heard it before … “a uniquely intimate educational forum that ensures attendees walk away with valuable relationships and actionable information” … but this one delivers. The speakers (and the staff attending the vendor booths) are all first rate. The event normally attracts about 400 C-level attendees and there are about 50-60 security vendors, the cream of the crop: Crowdstrike, cyberwire, Darktrace, FierceCIO, FireEye, Novetta, TrendMicro, etc.

The panels/sessions are always packed with experts, and for … Read more

Android devices are threatened by fake apps: the onslaught continues

Android fake apps


Eric De Grasse, Chief Technology Officer

(composite of several blog reports)


29 July 2014 –  As we get ready to attend the start of Black Hat security conference this weekend, we have been catching up on the wave of articles and blog posts about the spike in vulnerabilities for mobile devices.

Bluebox Security has reported that Google’s Android operating system is making mobile devices vulnerable to cyber criminals seeking to access users’ personal information. They claim to have found a flaw in the software. Hackers can create a fake identification code allowing them to pretend to be an existing app with a good reputation – a ruse that enables them to move around a mobile device and tap into its data. Bluebox Security said it informed Google of the problem in April, and the technology group has since provided all of its Android device partners with a fix. However, any device that has not been updated with the latest version of the Android operating system remains at risk.

Jeff Forristal, Bluebox’s chief technology officer and lead researcher, said … Read more

International Olympiad in Informatics: the annual competitive programming competition for secondary school students


IOI 220 px logo

23 July 2014 – The 26th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) was recently concluded in Taipei, Taiwan. It ran from 13 to 20 July. The IOI is one of the most prestigious computer science competitions in the world. UNESCO and the International Federation for Information Processing are patrons. The IOI has been held since 1989. It is held in a different country every year.

The event represents the pinnacle of computer programming at secondary-school level. More than 300 students from 82 countries attended this year’s IOI to solve six highly complex algorithmic problems over two days. Many of those in attendance were self-taught in programming techniques generally introduced to students in their third year of studying computer science at university level.

The contest consists of two days computer programming, solving problems of an algorithmic nature. To deal with problems involving very large amounts of data, it is necessary to have not only programmers, but also creative coders, who can dream up what it is that the programmers need to tell the computer to do. As one commentator said: … Read more

Tech titans prepare for the “next wave” of technologies by poaching each other’s top talent

 Next wave


(composite of multiple sources)

16 July 2014 –  Babak Parviz, who led the development team on Google’s high-tech spectacles, announced his move in cryptic fashion, posting Amazon’s logo on his Google+ page, with the comment “status: super excited.” However, he has so far declined to reveal what projects he will work on at the Seattle-based online retailer.

The creator of Google’s Glass headset is moving to Amazon as the industry’s leading companies battle to secure the bright minds who will help them discover the next breakthrough technology.

Amazon’s coup in poaching one of Google’s leading lights underlines the efforts being made by the industry’s biggest companies to prepare for the “next wave” of technologies. All are heavily investing in futuristic concepts in an effort to predict what ideas may disrupt their core businesses. Parviz was also the brain behind the Google’s “smart contact lenses”, which will help diabetics track their blood sugar levels and communicate the information to mobile devices. Yesterday Google announced a deal with pharmaceutical company Novartis to help develop the lenses commercially.

It’s about these companies … Read more

A special report on cyber-security: “Defending the digital frontiers” (from this week’s Economist)


Cyber security economist issue


15 July 2014 – Cyber security is now part of all our lives. “Patches” and other security updates arrive for phones, tablets and PCs. Consultants remind us all not to open unknown files or plug unfamiliar memory sticks into our computers. The bosses of some Western firms throw away phones and laptops after they have been to China assuming they have been hacked.

And yet, as this week’s Economist special report “Defending the Digital Frontier” points out, digital walls keep on being breached. Last year more than 800m digital records, such as credit- and debit-card details, were pinched or lost, more than three times as many as in 2012. According to a recent estimate by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank, the cost to the global economy of cybercrime and online industrial espionage stands at $445 billion a year-about as much as the GDP of Austria.

This week’s special gives you a nice overview of hackers, “zero-day game”, digital disease control, how systems crash, elements of prevention and a good list of sources for further … Read more