A few days ago, we were notified (e.g., here and here) that a hack into the network of RSA Security (the security division of EMC) has led to someone stealing something that is related to the SecurID token product.
We cannot determine the real impact of this security breach until RSA Security tells us what exactly got stolen. I believe that this information will be made available, as a result of legal or public pressure, if for no other reason. Until this data becomes available, let us examine the two most probable options, and how we may respond to each.
I have just finished reading The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun. This 248-pages book describes how the work on innovation, and innovation in general, deviate from how we often perceive it, and from how it is presented by the media. It essentially carries the message that innovation is not some “magic” happening, but rather it is a lot of hard work, often carried out by many people.
The emergence of the Android Operating System for mobile devices is said to have put the content protection industry in trouble. This is probably true. However, for sake of accuracy, it has not introduced wholly new problems as it worsened existing ones, in an overall situation that was never easy to start with. Let us see what open Operating Systems such as Android have changed, and how the content protection industry may go about to overcome these new-old difficulties.
Among the work I do is the evaluation of research proposals for the Framework Program 7 (FP7), and now H2020, of the European Commission. I review research proposals that are submitted in response to calls that are related to information security. Truthfully, this work is among the more interesting of projects I am involved with.
On account of this occupation of mine, for a few years already, I consider myself authoritative to bring up the following tips to whoever intends to submit a research proposal for European, or other, funding.
A ZDNet article, Cyber-war risk is exaggerated, says OECD study, points to what seems as a thorough study that concluded with the stated result. I never read this study, but from the article one can point one point in which it is probably right and one point in which it is probably wrong.
Cars will soon be (almost) fully automated. News on experiments with cars that drive by themselves, in different scenarios and situations, make it seem obvious that soon enough the role of the driver is to be similar to that of a pilot in a passenger jet. Many people feel some itch of discomfort with this thought; the itch of “we are not there yet”. Let us see if and why we “are not there” yet, and what we can do about it.
Wikileaks did evil. It published stuff that should not have been published. Julian Assange acted carelessly, I think. Still, the impact of Wikileaks is not what we usually think it is. The security of citizens was not affected by Wikileaks, but by the leak itself, and the publicity given to those leaks, in itself, may bring citizen security to a higher standard in the long run. The problem with Wikileaks is that it created a new market for leaked documents; a market which may increase the appeal of low-risk data theft.