The Ambassador

The Ambassador is both warrior and diplomat. He listens to the words of those who deserve influence and guides those in his care as he guides himself. He acts not selfishly but for the betterment of all.

NSA Patents Available for License

There's a new article on NSA's Technology Transfer Program, a 1990s-era program to license NSA patents to private industry. I was pretty dismissive about the offerings in the article, but I didn't find anything interesting in the catalog. Does anyone see something I missed? My guess is that the good stuff remains classified, and isn't "transferred" to anyone. Slashdot thread....


Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Fishing Moves North in California

Warmer waters are moving squid fishing up the California coast. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered....


Medical Records Theft and Fraud

There's a Reuters article on new types of fraud using stolen medical records. I don't know how much of this is real and how much is hype, but I'm certain that criminals are looking for new ways to monetize stolen data....


Security Trade-offs of Cloud Backup

This is a good essay on the security trade-offs with cloud backup: iCloud backups have not eliminated this problem, but they have made it far less common. This is, like almost everything in tech, a trade-off: Your data is far safer from irretrievable loss if it is synced/backed up, regularly, to a cloud-based service. Your data is more at risk...


Nasty Vulnerability found in Bash

It's a big and nasty one. Invariably we're going to see articles pointing at this and at Heartbleed and claim a trend in vulnerabilities in open-source software. If anyone has any actual data other than these two instances and the natural human tendency to generalize, I'd like to see it....


Julian Sanchez on the NSA and Surveillance Reform

Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute has a lengthy audio interview on NSA surveillance and reform. Worth listening to....


Detecting Robot Handwriting

Interesting article on the arms race between creating robot "handwriting" that looks human, and detecting text that has been written by a robot. Robots will continue to get better, and will eventually fool all of us....


Lesson in Successful Disaster Planning

I found the story of the Federal Reserve on 9/11 to be fascinating. It seems they just flipped a switch on all their Y2K preparations, and it worked....


Kill Switches for Weapons

Jonathan Zittrain argues that our military weapons should be built with a kill switch, so they become useless when they fall into enemy hands....


Security for Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a report titled "Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications: Readiness of V2V Technology for Application." It's very long, and mostly not interesting to me, but there are security concerns sprinkled throughout: both authentication to ensure that all the communications are accurate and can't be spoofed, and privacy to ensure that the communications can't be used...