Choosing your password (.pdf) from Securing Your E-City.

 Choosing Your Password (pdf file) from Securing Your E-city.

There have been multiple stories written in the past few days about hacking attempts.  They range from drones that fight in the wars to Twitter being overtaken by the “Iranian Cyber Army” last night.  While the attacks are different, they share a common theme:  the attacks were carried out because of weak passwords.

This also brings up the age-old advice about choosing strong passwords.  I came across this pdf file, thanks to ESET’s Twitter account.  The pdf file contains suggestions for what NOT to use as passwords, and how to create good (read strong) passwords.  Of course, you’re going to be somewhat limited by the allowances of the system.  But, you should still be able to create a stronger password.

This holds true especially if you accessed Twitter last night, during the compromise.  Some reporters are saying that if you used a browser or any application that logs you in via HTTP (Port 80), there’s a good chance that your login information was given to the Iranian Cyber Army.  Which means that any account which uses the same login information is now vulnerable.

So, in short, change your passwords to something stronger.  And make sure you are not using the same password on multiple accounts.

Have a great day:)
Patrick.

When there’s Too much information on Social Networking

No, this isn’t an article about people telling graphic details about their lives (although that definitely fits the headline).  This is about posting that you’re going to be away from the house for a while, or other information like that.

On Facebook, you have the illusion of control over who sees your posts.  However a lot of people don’t bother to verify that the person they just added to their friends list is someone they know (or want to know).  And in some cases your most recent status update will show up regardless of your privacy settings.  So, if your most recent status message is “I’m going on vacation in Colorado for the next three weeks”, there’s a chance that someone will take advantage of that time.

On Twitter, it’s worse.  You have very little control over who sees your status messages. Yes, you can block people in general.  And yes, you can block specific people.  But, how many people actually check into their followers before adding them.  Even some of the technical pundits have to admit they don’t (hence the latest comments about auto-following and being victims of twitter-spam).  So, that tweet about going away for the weekend is literally going to be seen by millions of people.

I’m posting this because there have been articles online recently about victims of burglaries who found out that they were “cased” on social networking sites.  They had posted something on their myspace, facebook, or twitter account (or other SN sites).  Someone was monitoring for those type of posts, and struck while the victim was away.

This goes along well with not posting your personal information on those sites.  Especially if you are, or have, younger children.  This includes pictures of the children.  While I understand the desire to show off your kids to your friends, is it really worth the risk—regardless of how minor or minute that risk is?

Have a great day everyone:)
Patrick.