Not talking about Petya

Definitely not talking about Petya

$1m Ransomware

If you were asked to pay a million dollars to get your files back… would you?

Things I learnt from Wolf

If you don’t know Wolf Goerlich, you should check out his youtube channel. He started less than 2 years ago making short security videos during his commute to work.

This method of utilising his commute time for something practical, coupled with his consistency has allowed him to build up a large collection of, well effectively free consultancy.

I think I can learn from these traits… and possibly apply them to security.


Making Sense of WannaCry


Whenever a calamity befalls, it’s only natural for people to try and rationalise and identify the problem.

As is now happening with the WannaCry ransomware outbreak that affected the UK’s NHS service, and other services in over 100 countries. People are discussing what should have been done to prevent it.

On one hand, there’s a debate ongoing about responsible disclosure practices. Should the NSA have “sat on” vulnerabilities for so long? Because when Shadowbrokers released the details it left a small window for enterprises to upgrade their systems.

On the other hand, there are several so-called “simple” steps the NHS or other similar organisations could have taken to protect themselves, these would include:

  1. Upgrading systems
  2. Patching systems
  3. Maintaining support contracts for out of date operating systems
  4. Architecting infrastructure to be more secure
  5. Acquiring and implementing additional security tools.

The reality is that while any of these defensive measures could have prevented or minimised the attack, none of these are easy for many enterprises to implement.

… Read the rest of the post here

Looking busy when working from home

I work from home. To some this seems like the ideal situation, and in many ways it is. My commute to the “office” takes 30 seconds, I never get caught up in traffic, there’s always good food, and I don’t have to worry about what I’m wearing.

But there are many downsides to a home working arrangement too. You need to be self-disciplined and maintain a routine, otherwise you can end up working all hours of the day and night.

Cabin fever also begins to set in. There’s literally nothing new to talk about with the family. There’s no walking through the door in the evening and asking the family how their day was. Because you are with them all day and know exactly how eventful or not the day has been.

Perhaps, the one thing I miss the most is having the social interactions that you get when working in an office. Sure, communications are great, you can email, instant message, or video call colleagues. But it doesn’t replace the casual banter by the coffee machine or being able to bounce ideas off each other quickly and easily.

When you work from home, it’s very easy for the family to forget that you’re working. After all, to the untrained eye, all you are doing is sitting and staring at a computer all day long. So it becomes very easy for them to ask you to run a quick errand to the shops, or agree to attend a school meeting without checking first. Or the worst, is interrupting you when you’re deep in thought on work, or are in the middle of an important conference call.

So combat this, I’ve tried different techniques to illustrate when I’m busy so as to keep the kids from making me a viral sensation. I’d be lying if my techniques have been 100% effective. So interested in hearing from home-workers what has or hasn’t worked for you.

Privacy: Take control

There’s a lot going on in the world about governments snooping on citizens, and hacker groups trying to gain control over your facebook.

While these are genuine concerns, it probably shouldn’t be the biggest worry for most citizens. It is always easier to point the finger at a boogeyman, and blame all your woes on it.

Rather, let’s turn this around and see what can we do to protect ourselves, and those around us better.

I’m by no means advocating shunning technology altogether, but rather to be more mindful of what you are sharing online and with whom. When you need to fill out an online form in order to get internet access, do you really need to answer everything truthfully with your real name, address, and date of birth? Do you really need to share details of all your holiday plans in advance?

What about privacy settings on social media? Does it really need to be completely open to the public?

It requires a bit of discipline, and it won’t work in every instance, but by taking a few steps and building them into your online habits, you can take back a bit of control of your privacy.


SHA1 collision – What’s it all about?

Why should we be concerned about the successful SHA-1 collision attack that was recently demonstrated by Google researchers?

I take a look at encryption, cryptographic hashing, and why this attack is a big deal.