Archive for the ‘Gotcha’ Category

NIST’s new password security rules beg a question …..

August 16, 2017

How long does it take to hack a 16-character password?

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Last week, NIST ((the National Institute of Standards and Technology) issued new guidelines for password security.

After a review, NIST concluded that its former rules — passwords to include upper and lower case letters, numbers, special characters — made logins more complicated but didn’t materially improve online security.

Now, NIST is recommending using long, easy-to-remember phrases instead of relatively short strings of mixed letters, numbers and characters.

The rationale: the longer the string, the harder it is to crack.

For example some researchers concluded that it would only take 3 days to crack a password like “Tr0ub4dor&3” —  but over  550 years to crack the password “CorrectHorseBatteryStaple”

computer hacker

Oh really?

The story reminded me of a prior HomaFiles post that reported on a hacking test.

Hackers were given 1 hour to crack more than 16,000 cryptographically hashed passwords.

Her are the (frightening) results …

 

(more…)

Gotcha: How long does it take to hack a 16-character password?

August 4, 2016

First, how many of us have a 16-character password?

If the over-under is 1, I’m betting the under.

 

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Still, let’s pretend that that your passwords are 16-characters long – a mix of capital and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

Here’s how long it takes to crack it …

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What privacy? Apparently teens don’t care …

April 14, 2015

Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .

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Here are the Pew results …

(more…)

How long does it take to hack a 16-character password?

January 15, 2015

You gotta start scratching your head a bit when the Dept. of Defense gets its Twitter account hacked and issues an internal directive to change social networking passwords.

Not obvious to me why the DOD even has a Twitter account, and laughably frightening that they didn’t already have a policy for frequent password changes.

The fiasco reminded me of a competition to see how long it would take uber-hackers to crack 15,000 15-character passwords

 

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Let’s pretend that that your passwords are 16-characters long – a mix of capital and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

Here’s how long it takes to crack them …

(more…)

What privacy? Apparently teens don’t care …

May 30, 2014

 

Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .

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Here are the Pew results …

(more…)

Gotcha in DC: 26 MPH in a 25 MPH zone … snap, busted!

May 23, 2014

On balance, I’m ok with speed cams as long as their tolerances are reasonable … say 7 MPH over the speed limit.

According to WTOP, DC is implementing zero tolerance on more than a dozen speed cams being installed around the District.

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Here’s the rub.

They primarily target areas with posted speed limits of 25 mph.

If you’re snapped driving 1 mph to 10 mph above the limit, there’s  a $50 fine.

Doing 11 mph to 15 mph over results in a $100 ticket.

The price increases in 5 mph increments, up to $300 for driving in excess of 26 mph above the posted limit.

As a public service, here’s a partial map of the cam locations.

(more…)

Gotcha: Man, that was a fast yellow light …

March 7, 2014

Might not be your imagination.

In some locales, city-fathers are shortening the duration of yellow caution lights – you know, going from green to red.

Why?

Simple.  To increase the odds that you get ticketed by a red light “safety” camera.

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According to a News 10 TV report,  in Tampa, the yellow light duration was reduced by a fraction of a second at intersections with red light cameras.

The result: red light tickets and their accompanying revenue more than doubled.

Red light cameras generated more than $100 million in revenue last year in approximately 70 Florida communities,

What’s the impact on traffic safety?

(more…)

Gotcha: Man, that was a fast yellow light …

February 5, 2014

Might not be your imagination.

In some locales, city-fathers are shortening the duration of yellow caution lights – you know, going from green to red.

Why?

Simple.  To increase the odds that you get ticketed by a red light “safety” camera.

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According to a News 10 TV report,  in Tampa, the yellow light duration was reduced by a fraction of a second at intersections with red light cameras.

The result: red light tickets and their accompanying revenue more than doubled.

Red light cameras generated more than $100 million in revenue last year in approximately 70 Florida communities,

What’s the impact on traffic safety?

(more…)

Gotcha: Soon, speed cams will be so yesterday …

February 4, 2014

Speed cams are bad … AAA has done audits revealing that 1 in 10 tickets issued by them are in error … with drivers having little recourse since only  the cameras are are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Yep, they’re bad, but …

Imagine all speed limits being tightly enforced … 24 X 7.

Scary thought, right?

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Here’s what will replace the speed cam … and disrupt our lives.

(more…)

Un-Gotcha: 10 ways to protect your online privacy …

June 21, 2013

Useful compilation from Forbes … some no-brainers, some new (to me).

Ranges from clearing browser cookies & history frequently to masking IP addresses.

Worth browsing.

click to view

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Nums: How likely is it that a criminal will do it again?

June 18, 2013

In a prior post Feds: “Hire ex-cons … we do” … say, what? … we reported that Feds are hiring ex-cons into the State Department … and pressuring private companies to hire them, too.

Sounds risky to me, but what if there was some objective way to cut the risk … to determine the likelihood that an ex-con would (or would not) go straight.

 

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There is a way.

Some courts and parole departments are using predictive analytics to help decide who belongs in prison.

Here’s the scoop …

(more…)

Gotcha: If you don’t smoke, why are you buying Marlboros?

June 13, 2013

Consumers are signing up to share personal data at an alarming rate via sleep monitors, pedometers and activity trackers, dietary logs, brainwave monitors, grocery and restaurant loyalty cards, credit cards, Foursquare and Facebook check-ins, photo geotagging, and other digital means.

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As insurers, lenders, and others attempt to manage risk, they will inevitably turn alternative data sources to round out the picture of each consumer applicant –

Here are some ways that companies can (and are) using the data they collect on you.

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“No direct access to our central servers” … hmmm.

June 8, 2013

Last Thursday, the Washington Post outted the Feds Internet monitoring program Prism.

For details see the Washington Post article: NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program

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On Friday, most of the Internet companies reported to be part of the Fed’s Prism monitoring program expressed outrage and denied their involvement.

Did you notice that practically all of the denials centered  on the same exact phrase:

That the companies didn’t provide the Feds withdirect access to our central servers”.

Hmmm … that raises some questions, doesn’t it?

(more…)

Why the uproar about the phone and internet surveillance?

June 7, 2013

Yesterday it was revealed that the Feds are routinely gathering and mining  “metadata” on all phone calls and trolling through emails and other Internet content.

Ostensibly they’re just on the look out for terrorists …  that’s a good thing.

I think most folks would agree.

But many folks are in an uproar over the matter.

Why?

For starters, a lot of folks don’t trust the Feds much anymore.

According to Gallup, less than 1 in 5 Americans say that they trust the Federal government

… over 80% only trust the Federal government some of the time or never.

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And, those numbers are before accounting for:

(more…)

Gotcha: Soon, speed cams will be so yesterday …

June 4, 2013

Speed cams are bad but …

Imagine all speed limits being tightly enforced … 24 X 7.

Scary thought, right?

image

Here’s what will replace the speed cam … and disrupt our lives.

(more…)

Gotcha: How long does it take to hack a 16-character password?

June 3, 2013

First, how many of us have a 16-character password?

If the over-under is 1, I’m betting the under.

 

image

Still, let’s pretend that that your passwords are 16-characters long – a mix of capital and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

Here’s how long it takes to crack it …

(more…)

What privacy? Apparently teens don’t care …

May 29, 2013

 

Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .

image

Here are the Pew results …

(more…)

Gotcha: Man, that was a fast yellow light …

May 23, 2013

Might not be your imagination.

In some locales, city-fathers are shortening the duration of yellow caution lights – you know, going from green to red.

Why?

Simple.  To increase the odds that you get ticketed by a red light “safety” camera.

image

According to a News 10 TV report,  in Tampa, the yellow light duration was reduced by a fraction of a second at intersections with red light cameras.

The result: red light tickets and their accompanying revenue more than doubled.

Red light cameras generated more than $100 million in revenue last year in approximately 70 Florida communities,

What’s the impact on traffic safety?

(more…)