Author Archives: Eddie Block

Coming up for air…

Wow!  What a couple months it’s been.  Obviously I’ve let this blog go a bit stale, so a little update.

GDPR compliance advisory and counseling has been all consuming.  I knew that there would be organizations that were not compliant by the effective date of the GDPR.  What I wasn’t expecting was the sheer number of organizations that only learned about the GDPR in the last few days of May.  The best example of this was the crazy number of “new privacy policy” notices that spammed our inboxes the last couple days of May.

I’m not going to go into a discussion of GDPR.  If you don’t know what it is, take a look at the blog post I did in April 2017 (yes, over a year ago.)

The last few weeks have also been interesting with a couple volunteer groups.  The Computer and Technology section of the State Bar of Texas met in Washington D.C. with Texas members of Congress.  It was good to hear their strong support for security initiatives.  The section also creates “Tech Bytes” which are 5-15 minute videos on numerous security topics.  Take a look.

The American Bar Association’s Privacy and Computer Crime Committee is in the process of updating their International Guide to Cybersecurity.  The original was published in 2004, so it is long overdue.  If you are a InfoSec pro, you might want to take a look.  It is pretty funny to see where we’ve come from where we started.

Those projects combined with a few speaking and panel presentations have made for a busy few months.  It is good to be able to keep my head on work, so busy is good.  .


Did this guy just walk away with $50M?

Update:  Nope, he’s just really bad a PR.

Investors and website visitors to the Savedroid ICO (initial coin offering) page were greeted by a Southpark meme that seems to indicate all of their money is gone…

On his twitter feed Yassin Hankir, Founder and CEO of savedroid posted a picture of himself in an airport and holding a beer.  The page is down. Did he just fly away with $50 million worth of investors’ money?

I guess we will have to wait and see, but it looks a lot like the first official ICO scam.  What does this say about the future of cryptocurrency?

Excuse the language and think bigger than Porn

UPDATE:  Tom Scott posted a really great example of this on his YouTube channel.  Please take a look.

Motherboard, an online technology magazine, recently posted an article (excuse the NSFW language) discussing the development of artificial intelligent (AI) to face-swap celebrities into pornographic videos.

Clearly there are significant ramifications to celebrities, who will now have numerous fake pornographic videos online.  There is also a threat of blackmail of adults and kids with this new technology.  All of this is very troubling.

Another concern, which should get everyone thinking, is that this technology will not be limited to pornography.  Like many technologies, the porn industry leads the way.  This technology will eventually find its way into the mainstream.

So what does this mean for the political world?  Will “fake news” really become fake news?  At what point will we no longer be able to trust our own eyes?  Can we put Gandhi and Kim Kardashian into a meeting together discussing the benefits of Kobe beef?

It now seems clear that fake news had an influence on the 2016 elections.  How will we be able to discern fake news when the video evidence is right in front of us?  It will become easier and easier to perform the historical revisionism envisioned by Orwell or simply make up events and statements.

Revenge porn” laws exist to protect individuals from malicious disclosure of intimate activities.  Will AI assisted, fake pornography fall under the same protections?  Will we be able to develop laws or protections that protect the citizenry from AI assisted fake news videos, or will those same videos fall under 1st amendment protections?

I don’t have an answer but, even if I did, would it really be from me…?

Take care this holiday season

The holidays are upon us and with them a whole range of security issues.  The local news will tell us that car break-ins rise during the holidays as thieves look for Christmas presents left in vehicles.  I’d like to point out a couple concerns that might not seem intuitive.

Watch out this time of year for more, and more convincing, phishing attempts.  With the ubiquitous use of online gift shopping, scammers will use fraudulent Amazon or UPS emails to get people to click links.  Imagine you’re waiting for your child’s Christmas gift and get an email from UPS that it can’t be delivered until after the 25th.

Also on the phishing front, holiday emails from friends, clients, vendors, etc. give an attacker another vector.  This is an especially worrisome method of installing malicious code, since many will expect animated messages.  The animation can easily hide code executing in the background.

Skimmers are also prevalent at this time of year.  Not only gas stations, but the self-checkout lines in retailers are susceptible to criminals installing devices that capture credit card information.

The holiday season is a time for family, friends, and food (not necessarily in that order.)  We just need to be extra vigilant this time of year to protect ourselves from the people who have none of those.