Security 101

You know, I work with people all day, every day, helping them to be secure when they’re computing in the office and at home. It’s not full time or anything, but it’s one of my (many) focuses and I do want people to be safe. But it’s mostly thankless, and some days I feel like I’m wasting my time.

There’s a t-shirt somewhere that says “Social Engineering: Because There’s No Patch for Human Stupidity.”

Case in point:

College boy (and son of Tennessee Rep. Mike Kernell) Kevin Kernell hacked into Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account after he heard about it.

“Kernell allegedly obtained access to the account by guessing answers to security questions on the account and resetting the password for the account to “popcorn.” (Which he then posted online to a forum…”

Did you get that? Some random kid guessed the answers to the security questions that the ex VP nom had in put in her email account. No patch for that.

Word to the wise, people: Use better questions and answers. If you put your birthday in as a security question, guess what? Facebook knows your birthday. So do 35 million other people.

How about “What’s my honeybunny’s birthday?” Guess what. We can figure out your honeybunny is your husband. Your husband’s birthday isn’t very hard to find, either.

If you want a good question that you’ll remember and will be hard to guess, try something like this:

“What color was my first car?”

“What make and model was my first car?”

“Who was my first grade teacher?”

“What was the cross street where I grew up?”

Now, someone REALLY dedicated to getting into your stuff could find the answers to these questions, but he’d have to look long and hard and chances are good he’d move on to an easier target.

Next lesson: How to create a good password and why you need several.

An end to the confusion

This is from 60 Quick Seconds –
Understanding McCain & Palin

Now I understand McCain and Palin

I’m a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.

If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’re “exotic, different.”

If you grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, you’re a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack, you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

If you name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you’re a maverick.

If you graduate from Harvard law School, you are unstable.

If you attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you’re well-grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters*, spend 12 years as a constitutional law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13-million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veterans’ Affairs committees, you don’t have any real leadership experience.

If your total resume is: local weather reporter, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you’re qualified to become the country’s second highest-ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re not a real Christian.

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a Christian.

If you teach responsible, age-appropriate sex education, including protecting oneself against predators and the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state’s school system, while your unwed teen daughter becomes pregnant, you’re a responsible person.

If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner-city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values don’t represent those of America.

If your husband is nicknamed “First Dude,” with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

* This number is wayyyyyyyy off, by the way. A quick Google search shows 300,000 new registered voters this year in Florida alone.

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Posted by renee michael

Palin Word Of The Day

September 11: putting lipstick on a pig

A term used by many, generally in reference to someone who may be trying to make something or someone look appealing or attractive when it quite clearly will not work, or will only deceive the dumbest of people.

Car salesmen are generally good at “putting lipstick on a pig” because they are always selling unroadworthy buckets of shit and try and hide their shitfulness by tarting them up.

The dude in that car yard just put a body kit on that piece of shit. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig